Increase in COVID-19 in Houston wastewater, according to latest samples from Houston Health Department

HOUSTON – The latest samples show a sharp increase in the amount of the COVID-19 virus in Houston’s wastewater, the Houston Health Department said on Wednesday.

According to the Department of Health, the viral load is now 546% of the baseline, against 142% last week and 76% the week before.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Dr David Persse, chief medical officer for the city of Houston, said the number displays the value for the city as a whole compared to the benchmark date of July 6, 2020, which was the date of the first major wave of the virus in sewage.

“You can see how quickly it is increasing, and it underscores how much and how easily the virus is spreading,” Persse said.

The Houston Department of Health and collaborators are studying sewage samples collected from the city’s wastewater treatment plants to understand the prevalence of COVID-19 in our community.

People infected with COVID-19 shed viral particles in their stool. By testing wastewater, authorities can measure the amount of SARS-CoV-2 viral fragments in a community-wide sample and see whether the levels of the virus in that community are rising, falling, or staying the same.

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The Department of Health encourages all Houstonians to get vaccinated, boosted and wear a mask.

Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.


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