British variant present in ‘most’ of Houston’s wastewater therapy crops, suggesting ‘steady and uncontrolled’ unfold of the virus

(NEXSTAR) – The Houston Division of Well being warned in a press launch Monday that the UK variant of the coronavirus is probably going spreading at a “steady and uncontrolled” fee locally.

Samples from February 22 revealed that the extremely transmissible type of the virus had appeared in wastewater from 31 of the town’s 39 therapy crops, up from 21 crops 16 days earlier.

“The prevalence of the British variant in our wastewater reveals that it’s actively spreading in our metropolis,” mentioned Dr David Persse, Chief Medical Officer for the Metropolis of Houston. “That is one other clear indication that we have to proceed to masks ourselves, observe social distancing, wash our arms, get examined and get vaccinated when potential.”

The publication comes two days earlier than Texas revokes the statewide masks mandate.

Whereas transmission might be tough to trace with out dependable and widespread testing, sewage offers metropolis officers with one other useful resource for monitoring COVID-19.

Whatever the signs, folks with COVID-19 will cross the virus of their stool. The Houston Division of Well being and Houston Water started testing in Might 2020 to assist them determine early outbreaks and decide the place infections had been concentrated.

Among the many outcomes of the samples taken on February 22, practically 1 in 5 samples contained the British variant. In line with the assertion, outcomes for different variants in South Africa, Brazil and California are pending.

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