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Sewage analysis suggests exponentially higher infection rate in a New England area

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Sewage analysis suggests exponentially higher infection rate in a New England area

Photo caption: A healthcare worker administers a COVID-19 test, April 7, 2020, in Lowell, Mass. – © Elise Amendola/AP

Preliminary findings released this week from a new effort to track the spread of the coronavirus through sewage data suggests that one metro region in Massachusetts that’s reported fewer than 500 positive tests actually may actually have exponentially more.

Last month, Massachusetts lab Biobot Analytics launched a partnership with Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brigham and Women’s Hospital to use its technology pro bono to map and analyze the spread of the virus through wastewater.

The lab previously has helped U.S. municipalities similarly track the prevalence of opioid use.

The coronavirus mapping campaign represents one of at least two such projects nationwide currently analyzing sewage data for COVID-19. […]

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