How to really measure the circulation of covid-19 in France?

For six months, researchers have been carrying out an analysis of the wastewater in which traces of the virus show through.

And according to Professor Vincent Maréchal, the data show that the measures taken do not yet "reduce the circulation of the virus."

When a virus circulates in the population, it is immediately visible in the sewers.

Why ?

Because even people with very few symptoms release the virus when they go to the toilet.

However, researchers have been looking for traces of the new coronavirus in several dozen wastewater treatment plants in France for six months to monitor the circulation dynamics of covid-19.

They are sixty under surveillance, including a good part in Île-de-France.

And the latest data from the OBEPINE observatory are not reassuring.


- Coronavirus: follow the evolution of the situation Tuesday, September 22

The measures "do not have a major effect"

In this return, the curves that have been climbing since the beginning of June continue their ascent, worries at the microphone of Europe 1 Professor Vincent Marechal, virologist and co-creator of the epidemiological observatory in wastewater.

And the water samples show a level of infection of the population equivalent to that of early March.

"Today, we see that the measures that have been repeated, which are more coercive than at the beginning of August, do not yet have a major effect and do not in any case reduce the circulation of the virus as we see it through wastewater, "he analyzes.


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If the situation is not comparable to that of spring - since the wearing of a mask has become widespread and the complications of covid-19 are better managed -, the fact remains that these circulation curves which do not 'flatten is a warning, says this researcher.

This means that despite the health instructions, the virus continues to gain ground and that it is high time to take measures to prepare for winter.