Viral fragments found in Carrum Downs, Langwarrin sewage

Viral fragments found in Carrum Downs, Langwarrin sewage
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Coronavirus fragments have again been found in wastewater samples taken from three Melbourne suburbs without any known active cases.

The health department revealed on Saturday night COVID-19 viral fragments had again been detected in sewage from Carrum Downs, Langwarrin and Skye in Melbourne’s southeast.

There are no known active cases in the area with the closest active case located in Greater Dandenong.

The remaining of the state’s 25 active cases reside in Melbourne’s western suburbs.

Viral fragments have now been detected in two wastewater samples taken from a local catchment between February 15 and 17.

Coronavirus fragments were also detected earlier in the week in wastewater samples taken in the Wantirna South and Boronia area, and the St Kilda East and Caulfield North area.

The health department has urged anyone with any symptoms of COVID-19 and lives in or has visited the areas below during the following times has been urged to get tested:

  • Carrum Downs or Langwarrin from February 13 to 17, including parts of Skye;
  • Wantirna South or Boronia from February 13 to 15, including parts of Bayswater, Ferntree Gully, Knoxfield and Tremont;
  • St Kilda East or Caulfield North from February 13 to 16, including parts of Balaclava, Caulfield and Elsternwick.

Victoria’s COVID response commander Jeroen Weimar said on Friday the wastewater detections were “unexpected”.

“We have no obvious connections between the new locations that are flagged up and any positive cases, we are therefore asking people in a couple of areas to be particularly vigilant and report any potential symptoms they may have,” he said.

The detections come as Victoria recorded no new locally acquired cases on Saturday.

There are 25 active cases in Victoria, made up of 19 locally acquired cases and six in hotel quarantine.

Wastewater samples are taken at least weekly from 132 wastewater monitoring locations across Victoria, including 71 wastewater treatment plants and 61 sites within Melbourne metropolitan sewage networks.

“Fragments of the virus detected in wastewater may be due to a person with COVID-19 being in the early active infectious phase or it could be because someone is continuing to shed the virus after the early infectious period,” the health department said.

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