Omicron COVID variant detected in Merced County wastewater sample, researchers say

Dec 8, 2021

Researchers recently detected the omicron variant of COVID-19 in recent wastewater samples in Merced County.

Sewer Coronavirus Alert Network (SCAN) researchers have conducted daily monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 viral materials in sewage across several jurisdictions since late 2020, including at treatment plants in Merced, Sacramento, Davis, the Bay Area and Southern California, The Sacramento Bee reported.

Around mid-2021, those researchers developed methodology to test samples for the presence of genetic variants, such as California’s previously dominant alpha and now-dominant delta.

The World Health Organization on Nov. 26 designated omicron as a variant of concern due to its large number of mutations and rapid spread in some parts of the world.
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