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... Satellite data are showing significant reductions of NO 2 (nitrogen dioxide) over major cities in China, Europe, USA, and India (NASA Earth Observatory 2020); in Venice, Italy, canal water appeared visibly clearer (Link 2020). Impact of COVID-19 on water resources has been reported by Krishan (2020) and its impact during and post-COVID-19 by Krishan and Kulshrestha (2020) where emphasis is laid on hydro-geoethical and holistic approaches to achieve sustainable governance working on the experiences of experts from different disciplinary domains (Marone and Bohle 2020). ...
In the present study, a total of 48 groundwater samples (13 from shallow aquifers depth < 50 m and 35 samples from deep aquifers in the depth range 50–200 m) were collected from three industrial dominant districts (Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Moga) of Punjab after the lockdown period and before the start of southwest monsoon in the month of June, 2020 (pre-monsoon). The values for total dissolved solids (TDS) observed in Monsoon season (August, 2020) and November–December, 2019 (post-monsoon) were compared with the values taken in June, 2020 (pre-monsoon) to see the impact of lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic on groundwater salinity. ~ 60% of samples were found to have TDS values more than acceptable limit (500 mg/l) before lockdown (post-monsoon season of 2019) period and after or during lockdown period (June, 2020) number of samples more than the acceptable limit (500 mg/l) reduced to 45%. Average TDS values reduced by 25% in shallow aquifers after lockdown and area under TDS values in acceptable limit (500 mg/l) increased by 23% of samples as compared to the TDS values found in monsoon season of year 2019. In deeper aquifers, increase of only 3% area under TDS values in acceptable limit of 500 mg/l was found. Reductions in TDS values in shallow aquifers clearly show that there is an urgent need for proper management of salinity causing elements and regulating these to check groundwater contaminations using the holistic and hydro-geoethical approach.
The number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases worldwide continues to grow, and the gap between reports from China and statistical estimates of incidence based on cases diagnosed outside China indicates that a substantial number of cases are underdiagnosed (Nishiura et al., 2020a). Estimation of the asymptomatic ratio—the percentage of carriers with no symptoms—will improve understanding of COVID-19 transmission and the spectrum of disease it causes, providing insight into epidemic spread. Although the asymptomatic ratio is conventionally estimated using seroepidemiological data (Carrat et al., 2008, Hsieh et al., 2014), the collection of these data requires significant logistical effort, time, and cost. Instead, we propose a method of estimating the asymptomatic ratio by using information on Japanese nationals who were evacuated from Wuhan, China on charter flights.
A total of 565 Japanese citizens were evacuated from Wuhan, China to Japan. All passengers were screened for symptoms and also undertook reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction testing, identifying 4 asymptomatic and 4 symptomatic passengers testing positive for 2019-nCoV. We show that the screening result is suggestive of the asymptomatic ratio at 50.0%.
Groundwater balance helps assessment of groundwater sustainability at the current rate of its use. The estimate is specific to the area and time reference of its estimation. Dynamic groundwater head which relates to the change in storage is an important parameter in the resource estimation. In case, the observation boreholes tap aquifers different from the getting abstracted, the estimated results may deviate drastically from its true value. Multiple aquifer system exists in the northern part of district Amritsar, Punjab, India for which the water level trends of representative well hydrographs in the region for the period January 2006 to December 2013, show moderate sustainability. Taking the case of Amritsar district of Punjab, it has been shown in the present study that if the aquifer details are not considered appropriately, the moderately sustainable groundwater system can get assessed as over-exploited aquifers. In the study, groundwater quality for irrigation needs is also been examined.
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has caused human respiratory infections with a high case fatality rate since 2012. However, the mode of virus transmission is not well understood. The findings of epidemiological and virological studies prompted us to hypothesize that the human gastrointestinal tract could serve as an alternative route to acquire MERS-CoV infection. We demonstrated that human primary intestinal epithelial cells, small intestine explants, and intestinal organoids were highly susceptible to MERS-CoV and can sustain robust viral replication. We also identified the evidence of enteric MERS-CoV infection in the stool specimen of a clinical patient. MERS-CoV was considerably resistant to fed-state gastrointestinal fluids but less tolerant to highly acidic fasted-state gastric fluid. In polarized Caco-2 cells cultured in Transwell inserts, apical MERS-CoV inoculation was more effective in establishing infection than basolateral inoculation. Notably, direct intragastric inoculation of MERS-CoV caused a lethal infection in human DPP4 transgenic mice. Histological examination revealed MERS-CoV enteric infection in all inoculated mice, as shown by the presence of virus-positive cells, progressive inflammation, and epithelial degeneration in small intestines, which were exaggerated in the mice pretreated with the proton pump inhibitor pantoprazole. With the progression of the enteric infection, inflammation, virus-positive cells, and live viruses emerged in the lung tissues, indicating the development of sequential respiratory infection. Taken together, these data suggest that the human intestinal tract may serve as an alternative infection route for MERS-CoV.
ion from the transboundary Indo-Gangetic Basin comprises 25% of global groundwater withdrawals, sustaining agricultural productivity in Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Recent interpretations of satellite gravity data indicate that current abstraction is unsustainable, yet these large-scale interpretations lack the spatio-temporal resolution required to govern groundwater effectively. Here we report new evidence from high-resolution in situ records of groundwater levels, abstraction and groundwater quality, which reveal that sustainable groundwater supplies are constrained more by extensive contamination than depletion. We estimate the volume of groundwater to 200 m depth to be >20 times the combined annual flow of the Indus, Brahmaputra and Ganges, and show the water table has been stable or rising across 70% of the aquifer between 2000 and 2012. Groundwater levels are falling in the remaining 30%, amounting to a net annual depletion of 8.0 ± 3.0 km³. Within 60% of the aquifer, access to potable groundwater is restricted by excessive salinity or arsenic. Recent groundwater depletion in northern India and Pakistan has occurred within a longer history of groundwater accumulation from extensive canal leakage. This basin-wide synthesis of in situ groundwater observations provides the spatial detail essential for policy development, and the historical context to help evaluate recent satellite gravity data.
The advent of severe acute respiratory syndrome and its potential environmental transmission indicates the need for more information
on the survival of coronavirus in water and wastewater. The survival of representative coronaviruses, feline infectious peritonitis
virus, and human coronavirus 229E was determined in filtered and unfiltered tap water (4 and 23°C) and wastewater (23°C).
This was compared to poliovirus 1 under the same test conditions. Inactivation of coronaviruses in the test water was highly
dependent on temperature, level of organic matter, and presence of antagonistic bacteria. The time required for the virus
titer to decrease 99.9% (T99.9) shows that in tap water, coronaviruses are inactivated faster in water at 23°C (10days) than in water at 4°C (>100days).
Coronaviruses die off rapidly in wastewater, with T99.9 values of between 2 and 4days. Poliovirus survived longer than coronaviruses in all test waters, except the 4°C tap water.
There is uncertainty about the mode of transmission of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus. We analyzed the temporal and spatial distributions of cases in a large community outbreak of SARS in Hong Kong and examined the correlation of these data with the three-dimensional spread of a virus-laden aerosol plume that was modeled using studies of airflow dynamics.
We determined the distribution of the initial 187 cases of SARS in the Amoy Gardens housing complex in 2003 according to the date of onset and location of residence. We then studied the association between the location (building, floor, and direction the apartment unit faced) and the probability of infection using logistic regression. The spread of the airborne, virus-laden aerosols generated by the index patient was modeled with the use of airflow-dynamics studies, including studies performed with the use of computational fluid-dynamics and multizone modeling.
The curves of the epidemic suggested a common source of the outbreak. All but 5 patients lived in seven buildings (A to G), and the index patient and more than half the other patients with SARS (99 patients) lived in building E. Residents of the floors at the middle and upper levels in building E were at a significantly higher risk than residents on lower floors; this finding is consistent with a rising plume of contaminated warm air in the air shaft generated from a middle-level apartment unit. The risks for the different units matched the virus concentrations predicted with the use of multizone modeling. The distribution of risk in buildings B, C, and D corresponded well with the three-dimensional spread of virus-laden aerosols predicted with the use of computational fluid-dynamics modeling.
Airborne spread of the virus appears to explain this large community outbreak of SARS, and future efforts at prevention and control must take into consideration the potential for airborne spread of this virus.
In the current COVID-19 pandemic, a significant proportion of cases shed SARS-Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) with their faeces. To determine if SARS-CoV-2 is present in sewage during the emergence of COVID-19 in the Netherlands, sewage samples of 7 cities and the airport were tested using RT-PCR against three fragments of the nucleocapsid protein gene (N1-3) and one fragment of the envelope protein gene (E). No SARS-CoV-2 was detected in samples of February 6, three weeks before the first case was reported in the Netherlands on February 27. On March 5, the N1 fragment was detected in sewage of five sites. On March 15/16, the N1 fragment was detected in sewage of six sites, and the N3 and E fragment were detected at 5 and 4 sites respectively. This is the first report of detection of SARS-CoV-2 in sewage. The detection of the virus in sewage, even when the COVID-19 incidence is low, indicates that sewage surveillance could be a sensitive tool to monitor the circulation of the virus in the population.
Globally, approximately 170,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) have been reported, including an estimated 7,000 deaths in approximately 150 countries (1). On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic (2). Data from China have indicated that older adults, particularly those with serious underlying health conditions, are at higher risk for severe COVID-19-associated illness and death than are younger persons (3). Although the majority of reported COVID-19 cases in China were mild (81%), approximately 80% of deaths occurred among adults aged ≥60 years; only one (0.1%) death occurred in a person aged ≤19 years (3). In this report, COVID-19 cases in the United States that occurred during February 12-March 16, 2020 and severity of disease (hospitalization, admission to intensive care unit [ICU], and death) were analyzed by age group. As of March 16, a total of 4,226 COVID-19 cases in the United States had been reported to CDC, with multiple cases reported among older adults living in long-term care facilities (4). Overall, 31% of cases, 45% of hospitalizations, 53% of ICU admissions, and 80% of deaths associated with COVID-19 were among adults aged ≥65 years with the highest percentage of severe outcomes among persons aged ≥85 years. In contrast, no ICU admissions or deaths were reported among persons aged ≤19 years. Similar to reports from other countries, this finding suggests that the risk for serious disease and death from COVID-19 is higher in older age groups.
In this study, the persistence of severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) was observed in feces, urine and water. In addition, the inactivation of SARS-CoV in wastewater with sodium hypochlorite and chlorine dioxide was also studied. In vitro experiments demonstrated that the virus could only persist for 2 days in hospital wastewater, domestic sewage and dechlorinated tap water, while 3 days in feces, 14 days in PBS and 17 days in urine at 20 degrees C. However, at 4 degrees C, the SARS-CoV could persist for 14 days in wastewater and at least 17 days in feces or urine. SARS-CoV is more susceptible to disinfectants than Escherichia coli and f2 phage. Free chlorine was found to inactivate SARS-CoV better than chlorine dioxide. Free residue chlorine over 0.5 mg/L for chlorine or 2.19 mg/L for chlorine dioxide in wastewater ensures complete inactivation of SARS-CoV while it does not inactivate completely E. coli and f2 phage.
To study whether severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) could be excreted from digestive system.
Cell culture and semi-nested RT-PCR were used to detect SARS-CoV and its RNA from 21 stool and urine samples, and a kind of electropositive filter media particles was used to concentrate the virus in 10 sewage samples from two hospitals receiving SARS patients in Beijing in China.
It was demonstrated that there was no live SARS-CoV in all samples collected, but the RNA of SARS-CoV could be detected in seven stool samples from SARS patients with any one of the symptoms of fever, malaise, cough, or dyspnea, in 10 sewage samples before disinfection and 3 samples after disinfection from the two hospitals. The RNA could not be detected in urine and stool samples from patients recovered from SARS.
Nucleic acid of SARS-CoV can be excreted through the stool of patients into sewage system, and the possibility of SARS-CoV transmitting through digestive system cannot be excluded.
Severe outcomes among patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) -United States
CDC, 2020. Severe outcomes among patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) -United
States, February 12-March 16, 2020. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID-19 mortality and healthcare demand. Imperial college 2019 response form
Fergusson et al., 2020. Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID-19
mortality and healthcare demand. Imperial college 2019 response form. DOI: https://doi.
Presence of SARS-Coronavirus-2 in sewage. medRxiv
Medema, G., et al., 2020. Presence of SARS-Coronavirus-2 in sewage. medRxiv. In press
Environmental engineers and scientists have important roles to play in stemming outbreaks and pandemics caused by enveloped viruses
K R Wiggington
A B Boehm
Wiggington, K.R., Boehm, A.B., 2020. Environmental engineers and scientists have important roles
to play in stemming outbreaks and pandemics caused by enveloped viruses. Environ. Sci. Technol.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/water.html (Retrieved on April 20, 2020)
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200403132347.htm (Retrieved on April 20, 2020)
Evidence of airborne transmission of the severe acute respiratory syndrome virus