This increase is alarming according to Helen Norder, professor of microbiology at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg.
“It is concerning because we have reached five times the minimum, and that is before schools start properly. This means that we have a spread throughout Gothenburg, even if it is not large,” she says in a press release.
The spread of infection has been linked to the presence of viruses in wastewater in several places in Sweden during the pandemic. In Gothenburg, Helen Norder and a group of virologists have been following levels since February of last year.
Concentrations started declining in mid-May and were lowest in the first half of July. Since then, a gradual increase has been observed.
Even with the increase, the level so far is only one-tenth of the peak of the second wave of the epidemic.
Researchers previously reported that an increased viral presence in wastewater could be associated with an increased spread of infection and an increased burden on healthcare.
“Before we had a vaccine, a week or so later we saw effects in healthcare, and now we’ll see how it goes with it, and it depends on how many have been vaccinated because they probably won’t need hospital care if they get infected,” says Helen Norder.
Jens Bornman / TT
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