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Tracking SARS-CoV-2 during Tokyo 2020 via wastewater

Updated: Aug 23, 2022

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, were held between July 21 and September 21, 2021. The games were held without spectators, and athletes and support staff in the Olympic village were tested daily for SARS-CoV-2, to ensure that the pandemic was kept under control.

A team of researchers from Japan, led by Hokkaido University's Masaaki Kitajima, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Engineering, has used wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) to show that SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus, was present in more areas of the village than indicated by the antigen test. Their findings were published as a Rapid Communication in the Journal of Travel Medicine. The team included Specially Appointed Professor Michio Murakami at the Center for Infectious Disease Education and Research, Osaka University; Ryo Iwamoto from Shionogi & Co., Ltd.; Professor Hiroyuki Katayama at the Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo; and Professor Seiya Imoto at The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo (IMSUT).

Published in: Journal of Travel Medicine COVID-19 wastewater surveillance implemented in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Village.

For more information, please see the press release from The institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo.

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