People infected by SARS-CoV-2 shed the virus in their feces. That much is certain.
The linkage is so established that sewage is now a valuable trove of data for researchers who are trying to glean as much information as they can about the virus and its spread.
This type of scientific investigation is known as wastewater-based epidemiology, and it is a growth field. Scientists from more than 70 institutions worldwide have formed a research collaborative focused on the coronavirus pandemic and sewage. Their purpose is to facilitate scholarship using these sewage-tracking methods.
On the collaborative’s web site is a map that displays more than a dozen research papers that use sewage surveillance techniques. The papers track the virus through wastewater in Istanbul, Paris, Rome, and the Netherlands, among others. Some of the papers are preprints that have not yet been peer reviewed.
Interested researchers are invited to collaborate.