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1. Eric Mack has covered science, technology, the environment and politics for outlets including CNET, PC World, BYTE, Wired, AOL and NPR. He has written e-books on Android and Alaska. He began covering Silicon Valley for the now defunct Business 2.0 Magazine in 2000, but when the dot-com bubble burst, he found himself manning a public radio station in the Alaskan Bush for three years.|
2. The following are excerpts from Eric Mack's June 26, 2020 news report headlined "The Coronavirus Was Detected In Sewage In March Of 2019, Far From Wuhan, China".
....Researchers from the University of Barcelona say they detected the virus in sewage samples were collected in the Spanish city on March 12, 2019. That’s several months before the first cases that would lead to the current pandemic were officially identified in Wuhan, China in early December....
The team analyzed frozen waster water samples from nine different dates between January 2018 and December 2019. All the samples came back negative for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material, except for low levels that were found in the March 12, 2019 sample.
It’s a little odd, to say the least, that the coronavirus popped up only once in Barcelona’s wastewater nearly a year before Spain reported its first cases.
“When it’s just one result, you always want more data, more studies, more samples to confirm it and rule out a laboratory error or a methodological problem,” Dr Joan Ramon Villalbi of the Spanish Society for Public Health and Sanitary Administration told Reuters. “It’s definitely interesting, it’s suggestive.”
In their summary of their findings, the team makes a point to note the oft-repeated theory that some particularly rough influenza cases that were reported in the months prior to the new coronavirus emerging may have actually been Covid-19 cases.
“It has been suggested that some uncharacterized influenza cases may have masked COVID-19 cases in the 2019-2020 season,” the Barcelona researchers write.
“Those infected with COVID-19 could have been diagnosed with flu in primary care by mistake, contributing to the community transmission before the public health took measures,” adds co-author Albert Bosch in a statement. Bosch is also president of the Spanish Society of Virology.... (End excerpts)