A team of experts from the Federal University of Santa Catarina announced Wednesday that they found the presence of COVID-19 virus in sewage samples taken from October to March in Florianopolis, the capital of The Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. The discovery comes two months before the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was officially announced in the Americas — the first confirmed case in the United States on January 21 of this year — and three months before the Brazilian government announced that coVID-19 had been confirmed in late February.
The study, “CoVID-19 found in Sewage in Santa Catarina, Brazil, November 2019,” was co-authored by 14 researchers from the Federal University of Santa Catarina. The report notes that the COVID-19 virus appeared in Brazil more than a month before the first confirmed cases were announced worldwide.
The coVID-19 virus was found in a sample taken in November last year during a monthly routine inspection of frozen sewer water samples in Florianopolis, said Professor Gerlow, who was involved in the study. At first, the scientists were skeptical. Then they ran secondary tests with different viral markers in different LABS, repeated all the data, and tracked the viral genome.
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