Monkey pox spreads in the Gulf region. Stanford wastewater data shows hot spots in the region. | News

Evidence of monkeypox virus has appeared in Bay Area wastewater since mid-June, indicating an infection, according to data from Stanford University’s Novel Coronavirus Alert Network (SCAN).

The Stanford scan tracks the presence of a number of viruses in wastewater, including SARS-CoV-2 and its variants, influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and human lung dead. Monkeypox is the latest addition. The virus was detected in 10 of the 11 sewage pools studied by Stanford researchers, including Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, San Jose, Gilroy, Stanford, Silicon Valley Clean Water (in San Mateo County), and Davis, and Sacramento, two San Francisco sewers. According to the data. Only UCSD, Davis has come back negative so far.

Monkeypox is a rare virus that causes fever, headache, muscle and back aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, fatigue, and a painful, pimple-like rash with blisters on the face, inside the mouth, and other parts of the body. The rash goes through different stages and a person remains contagious until the rash dries up and disappears. The illness typically lasts two to four weeks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the CDC, the virus is related to smallpox but is not the same as chickenpox. It is spread by close contact, such as touch, and especially by sexual activity. The most recent cases were among men who had been intimate with other men, even though it is not considered a sexually transmitted disease, according to the CDC.

The SCAN team is collecting the DNA that is part of the virus. They are not detecting live infectious viruses, just bits of their genetic material, said Alexandria Baum, a professor in Stanford University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering who directs the SCAN project with Marilyn Wolf, associate professor of environmental health at Emory University’s Rollins School. Public Health.

The Palo Alto sewers, which serve Palo Alto, Mountain View, East Palo Alto, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, showed detectable levels of DNA as of July 15 and their highest so far on July 17. 20 according to the data.

Clean Silicon Valley waterways, which serve the cities of Belmont, San Carlos, Redwood City and the West Bay Health District, showed monkeypox on July 21. It was revealed on July 19, and Sunnyvale showed the discoveries on July 9 and July 17.

Sanitary sewers in San Francisco, Sacramento and San Jose were the hot spots, according to the data.

The Santa Clara County Department of Public Health has confirmed the presence of monkeypox in Santa Clara County. As of July 21, the county has confirmed 31 cases, according to the online dashboard.

It’s possible that monkeypox DNA was present in wastewater in other large urban areas, Bohm said.

Given SCAN’s experiences working with wastewater for successful surveillance of RSV and influenza, as well as COVID-19 and its variants, Boehm said it’s not surprising that an emerging pathogen target such as monkeypox DNA has emerged in wastewater.

“(Monkeypox) DNA has been documented in a number of human secretions of infected patients, including urine and feces, all of which end up in sewage. It is encouraging to have evidence that this instrument (wastewater monitoring) can provide information At the community level on the “monkeypox outbreak,” she said in an email on Monday.

“Currently, we can’t say how many cases in sewers have positive findings except to say when we did detect monkeypox DNA, it indicated that at least one person was in the sewers using the sewer collection system. It would be helpful to look at the trends in concentrations as we collect more data and compare those with trends in reported MPX (monkeypox) cases.”

On July 23, the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a global health emergency. As of July 25, there are 16,836 confirmed cases worldwide and 3,487 in the United States, according to the CDC. California is the second highest state with 356 cases. It has only been surpassed by New York, which has 990 cases.

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