The unlikely way Marin County is searching for coronavirus clusters

Marin County is looking for the coronavirus in a surprising place: wastewater.

People infected with COVID-19 shed the virus in their feces, and wastewater sampling can gauge the overall prevalence of inefection in a community and identify an outbreak before individuals display symptoms.

The county started collecting samples from wastewater treatment plants in August and sending them to researchers at UC Berkeley to analyze in a lab.

The samples are pulled from plants that serve a specific area or multiple regions, and if they test positive for a high level of COVID-19, the city can put together a testing plan for individuals living in that area.

“We can use this to identify the virus in an area before any individuals test positive,” said Rochelle Ereman, the community epidemiology program manager for the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services.

Marin County is testing wastewater samples for COVID-19 from 11 sites.

Marin County is testing wastewater samples for COVID-19 from 11 sites.

Marin County

The county launched the effort at San Quentin State Prison, where hundreds of prisoners were infected in a major outbreak over the summer. Now, the county tests at 10 additional sites: Ross Valley; Corte Madera; San Rafael; the Canal area of San Rafael; Tiburon and Belvedere; Terra Linda and Marinwood; the Sausalito-Marin City Sanitary District; Marin City; Novato; and Southern Marin, including Mill Valley, Tamalpais Valley, Alto, Altamonte and Richardson Bay.

San Rafael’s Canal neighborhood saw a spike in cases over the summer, and Ereman said wastewater sampling identified when cases were declining.


At San Quentin, they have been able to pull samples from wastewater associated with individual buildings, and while the project started after the prison’s major outbreak, Ereman said they were able to recently identify a “blip” in cases.

The work at the Marin County prison also shows how it’s possible to hone in on a specific place.

“We started with San Quentin because it was a confined place,” said Ereman. “This could be used at schools, small buildings, large buildings, community areas, skilled nursing homes. It can help us look at our highest-concern, highest-risk communities.”

Jason Dow, general manager of the Central Marin Sanitation Agency, said a machine that’s about the size of a refrigerator pulls the samples from the plants with a long tube. About a gallon of water is collected and put in a jug for the lab.

“They don’t actually measure the number of actual COVID viruses but they can measure a quantity of the genetic material,” Dow said. “There’s RNA associated with the virus, kind of like you have DNA in your body, viruses have RNA. They can tell if there’s none, some or a lot. They can tell if there are increases or decreases. They can get that information in a day or two.”

Source Article

Read more

Qualities You Need To Look For When Searching For The Best Dentist

Maintaining the teeth and gums is an essential task individuals need to do. This is important to ensure that oral health is not compromised. In addition, maintaining the teeth and gums can help individuals improve their over-all health, functionality and appearance. Therefore, in case of any dental problems, the ideal option is to go to dental clinics immediately.

As of now, there are numerous dentists who provide a wide variety of dental services from cleaning, extracting and even replacing. Apart from that, dentists can also provide you with simple tips and tricks in doing proper dental hygiene. Because of this, individuals are having a hard time choosing the best dentist who can provide them with effective and reliable dental services. So, it is best for individuals to check their qualities. Below are some of the qualities you need to look for when searching for the best dentist in your area.

Strong dental knowledge

First and foremost, it is important for individuals to evaluate the dentist’s dental knowledge. Ask about his educational attainment and ask about the seminars he attended. This is important to determine his background about dentistry. Apart from that, it is also essential to ask about his professional experience. Of course, this is important to determine if dentists can provide you with the right dental treatment you are looking for.

Excellent communication skills

Another essential quality you need to look for in a dentist is his communication skills. When it comes to dental surgeries, most individuals are scared due to the weird items dentists use. Therefore, make sure that dentists can communicate to patients properly to help them eliminate their fear of dental treatments and surgeries.

Good mind and body coordination

Dentists must also have good mind and body coordination. In order to make surgeries successful, it is important for dentists to have good coordination in order to avoid accidents that may affect their patients. Not to mention, good mind and body coordination can also help dentists provide safer treatments.

Safe facility and equipment

In order to complement their skills and knowledge, it is also vital to check their facility and equipment. By checking their facility and equipment, you can have good insight about their treatments. This can also help you assess if the gadgets and devices are sanitized before use.

By knowing all these qualities, individuals can easily find the best and most reliable dentist who can help them make their teeth stronger and gums healthier. Click here for more.

Source Article

Read more