Monday, December 20, 2021

Things You Find in Sewage

 12/16/21 ABC News:

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Even though there have been practically no cases of clinical infection, wastewater samples show that the new omicron variant is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the Florida county that is home to the nation's largest theme park resorts, officials said this week.

The omicron variant has quickly surpassed the delta variant in collections taken from wastewater sampling sites in Orange County, officials said.

A sampling this week showed that omicron represented almost 100% of the strains in the samples from the wastewater facilities, Orange County Utilities spokesperson Sarah Lux said in an email.

It's a different story when it comes to people seeking treatment for COVID-19, officials said.

“Those who are hospitalized are being primarily infected by the delta variant,” Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said Wednesday at a news conference held at the Orlando International Airport.

Early reports from South Africa indicated that it was highly contagious but not terribly severe.  This is consistent with that model.  It is the overwhelming fraction of COVID-19 in that county, but the hospitals are not seeing a bunch of omicron patients. 

I think this may be good news.  We may have moved to the "bad news like flu" stage.  It is awful to get, but unless you are at high risk, as with flu, you are unlikely to go to the hospital or the morgue.


  1. Considering what else is in the sewage, how are they able to distinguish this from all the other corona virus variants; not just the Omicron, Delta, Covid-19, and presumably the Alpha and Beta variants.
    I guess it's true that one can find anything in water at parts per billion.