Virus fragments point to possible ‘undetected case’
A PERSON with undetected COVID-19 could be living in Ipswich, according to health authorities after wastewater testing returned another positive result to the virus.
More viral fragments have been detected at sewage catchments across Queensland, including at a treatment facility in Carole Park, following recent wastewater testing.
It is not the first time viral fragments have been found in sewage catchments where no active cases were recorded.
Fragments of the virus were found in Carole Park sewage in October last year and have since been found across sewage plants in Goodna, Wacol, Carole Park again, and other plants across the state.
Queensland Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Sonya Bennett said the repeat detection in these locations, in addition to the increasing detections in other South East Queensland catchments was becoming more concerning.
"In the past two weeks, 16 sewage catchments have detected viral fragments in various locations across the state," Dr Bennett said.
"Cleveland and Carole Park are of particular concern as we have no hotel quarantine locations that feed into these sewage systems.
"That means there could potentially be an undetected case in the community."
Health authorities said it was possible positive results could be from patients who were previously diagnosed with COVID-19 but had since recovered.
"It is, of course, also possible that these detections relate to previous COVID-19 cases who can shed viral fragments for a couple of months after they are no longer infectious," Dr Bennett said.
She said a possible undiagnosed case in the community meant it was critical for anyone with symptoms to be tested for the virus.
"That is why we are urging anyone with any symptoms, no matter how mild to come forward and get tested," she said.
"Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting, and loss of taste or smell.
"This is especially important now more than ever, as we know the new variants emerging overseas are more contagious than previous variants we have seen in Queensland.
"If there is a case we are not yet aware of, it is critical we detect it through our testing mechanisms as quickly as possible to contain any potential spread."
The latest test revealed fragments in Carole Park, Coombabah and Cleveland sewage catchments.
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