Sewage tests positive in three more Queensland areas
COVID-19 viral fragments have been detected at three southeast Queensland wastewater treatment plants in the latest sewage analysis.
Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the positive samples were collected at treatment plants at Coombabah, on the Gold Coast, Capalaba in Redland City and Sandgate in Brisbane early last week.
So far this week, Queensland Health has announced detection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, at more than a dozen sewage treatment plants in the state.
Dr Young said a positive result did not necessarily equate to undetected COVID-19 cases in a community, although she treated every detection with "absolutely caution".
"A positive sewage result means that someone who has been infected was shedding the virus," she said.
People can continue to shed the virus for months after they are no longer considered infectious.
Wastewater surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 is considered a developing field across the world.
While alerting health officials to the possibility of cases in a particular area, the tests cannot reliably or accurately predict the number of people who may be shedding the virus in a community.
Dr Young today repeated her mantra to all Queenslanders to get tested for COVID-19 if they developed even mild symptoms, and to isolate until they received a result.
Symptoms include a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting, and loss of taste or smell.
The latest positive sewage tests come as Queensland recorded one new case of the pandemic virus, detected in hotel quarantine, taking the total number of infections in the state since the health crisis began a year ago to 1307.
For details on testing locations: health.qld.gov.au
Originally published as Sewage tests positive in three more southeast suburbs