There's been an alarming spike in the concentration of coronavirus detected in wastewater in Thessaloniki.
According to researchers from Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University, the spike came after a few weeks of a slow but steady increase.
“Our most recent measurements have shown a steep rise in the epidemiological curve,” the team’s leader, Nikos Papaioannou, told AMNA.
“Of course, if we compare the latest weekly average to that of January 18-21, to the period after Christmas when we were at our lowest level, the viral load is up by 345% today. Compared with the autumn wave, we are now at a level similar to late October, just before the start of November’s spike in transmission,” he added.
The team is coordinating its research with the Thessaloniki Water and Sewerage Company.
It is also analysing daily samples instead of weekly to give early warnings about outbreaks.
Symeon Metallidis, an epidemiology professor at Aristotle University, who also sits on the government’s scientific advisory committee said that "the rise we have been seeing since the start of the month in the wastewater, will become apparent in the next few weeks at hospitals."
“Wastewater gives us a timely diagnosis, a picture of what we will see later clinically. The methodology is very well targeted and reliable,” he added.