Minnesota scientists first found coronavirus in beach water samples


Minnesota scientists first found coronavirus in beach water samples – but it is unlikely that the disease is capable of spreading to the body of water

  • Researchers at the University of Minnesota Medical School have been testing water samples on eight beaches along Lake Superior since July
  • On the weekends of September 11 and September, trace levels were found on four of the beaches
  • Levels between 100 copies of the virus and 1,000 copies per 1,000 liters were detected compared to levels found in the wastes
  • The team believes that swimmers carry the virus into the water
  • There is currently no evidence that coronavirus can spread or transmit through water

Scientists have found a ‘detectable level’ of novel coronoviruses for the first time in beach water samples.

A team from the University of Minnesota Medical School has been collecting water every weekend on eight beaches along Lake Superior since the fourth of July.

Four of them – Brighton Beach, 42nd Avenue East Beach, Franklin Park Beach and Lif Erickson Park Beach – detected amounts of SARS-CoV-2 in the water over the weekends of September 11 and 18.

While there is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted through lake or beach water, it may contain clues about how the virus has spread throughout the community.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota Medical School have been testing water samples on eight beaches along Lake Superior since July.  Picture: Brighton Beach along Lake Superior where samples of coronavirus were found

Researchers at the University of Minnesota Medical School have been testing water samples on eight beaches along Lake Superior since July. Picture: Brighton Beach along Lake Superior where samples of coronavirus were found

On the weekends of September 11 and September, trace levels were found on four of the beaches.  Picture: Franklin Park Beach along Lake Superior where coronavirus samples were found

On the weekends of September 11 and September, trace levels were found on four of the beaches. Picture: Franklin Park Beach along Lake Superior where coronavirus samples were found

Levels between 100 copies of the virus and 1,000 copies per 1,000 liters were detected compared to the levels found in the wastes.  Picture: Franklin Park Beach along Lake Superior where coronavirus samples were found

Levels between 100 copies of the virus and 1,000 copies per 1,000 liters were detected compared to the levels found in the wastes. Picture: Franklin Park Beach along Lake Superior where coronavirus samples were found

According to a statement from the University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth, researchers found between 100 copies and 1,000 copies per virus.

This is approximately 10,000 times lower than the levels found in wastewater, which is the toilet water that goes through the drainage system to the treatment facility.

An assistant professor of medical school in Duluth, Drs. Richard Melvin told KRE 11 that he believed swimmers were transferring the virus to beach water.

He said that people infected with COVID-19 can shed the virus in feces for up to a month after their symptoms disappear.

“It is known that beaches may be contaminated with feces due to human activity,” Melvin told the news station.

‘It is also possible that the virus, if people are shedding, which can flow into the water on the beach [too]. ‘

There is currently no evidence that people can become infected with coronovirus through water as is possible from bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli.

The therapy also states that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ‘is not aware of any scientific report indicating that the virus may spread to people from exposure to lake water.’

However, knowing that the virus can be found in freshwater may give clues about hw that the virus is in a communal state.

Melvin told KRE 11, “Understanding where to look for the virus, how to deal with such infections in the future.”

‘Now knowing that we can find it in the lake water, it could be another indicator of the prevalence of the virus in the population living at that location.’

Meanwhile, the University of Minnesota Medical School advised that anyone visiting the beach would have to wear masks and practice social distance as COVID-19 is more likely to spread on land.

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