Today's poop report – amount of #COVID19 in #Ottawa's sewage continues to rise, indicating we're not yet flattening the curve: https://t.co/bGLdDz9E72.#ottnews #CDNhealth https://t.co/CjZ6DSdCEK pic.twitter.com/djb6Ym8atV
— Alex Munter (@AlexMunter) October 13, 2020
We need to start measuring the levels of coronavirus in our poop in order to find out that it is worse than we’d ever imagined.
If you have any doubt about how hard the second wave of COVID-19 is hitting Ottawa, keep your eye on the poop.
Or more precisely, the research project at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario that is measuring COVID-19 in the city’s wastewater.
It is not a pretty picture.
In the last week, researchers have been shocked by the high levels of the virus found in Ottawa’s wastewater.
“We’re strapped to a rocket right now, unfortunately”, said Alex MacKenzie, a pediatrician and researcher at CHEO. “It’s two to three days early warning. It’s a single test for 900,000 people.”
The wastewater collection is being done by researchers at the CHEO Research Institute and the University of Ottawa. Wastewater is collected five days a week and transported to a lab, where viral levels are tested and reported the next morning.
Ottawa is one of the first cities in North America to conduct such daily readings.
At city council Wednesday, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches told city council the wastewater study is a disturbing indicator of how hard the second wave is hitting the capital.
“It’s not related to anyone taking tests. It doesn’t have the lag time,” she said. “This does tell us what was measured in the water.”
You might not be seeing people dying all around you, but if we examine the poop, we will find that people are actually dying all around you and you just don’t know it.
The poop knows.