A mystery person in Ohio is allegedly infected with a new kind of COVID-19 and it’s shedding into the sewage. There were massive amounts of this unique strain, all coming from one mystery person in Ohio.
Marc Johnson, a professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, took to Twitter with an appeal: “Help me solve a COVID cryptic lineage mystery.”
Help me solve a COVID cryptic lineage mystery.
Cryptic lineages are distinct SARS-CoV-2 lineages that we detect in wastewater, but do not know their source. We believe they are from patients with very long COVID infections.
Here is more backstory.https://t.co/n9MdSLnVkI
— Marc Johnson (@SolidEvidence) April 24, 2023
There were massive amounts of this unique strain, all coming from one mystery person in Ohio. How does Johnson know this is coming from one person? Apparently, the viral material has been primarily found at two sites: The city of Columbus and 40 miles away in the city of Washington Court House. Johnson says it is possible that the person lives in one city and works in the other.
He says that this isn’t “an imminent public health threat,” and that the person likely has a form of “long COVID” that isn’t contagious.
Johnson told Insider that he had been identifying “cryptic” COVID lineages in wastewater nationwide since 2021. These strains “don’t match anything we’ve seen before,” he said, adding that SARS-CoV-2 still had some tricks up its sleeve and plenty we didn’t know.
While these cryptic strains have only been identified in wastewater, they could be harbingers of future variants. Long before Omicron emerged, researchers were collecting samples of COVID that they didn’t recognize — cryptic lineages that we now understand to be similar to Omicron, according to a preprint paper — not-yet-peer-reviewed — published last month by Johnson and his team.
The first cryptic-COVID lineage Johnson found in 2021 was a classic example of his discoveries. There was so much virus in the wastewater that he thought it was coming from a nursing home or maybe an animal reservoir like a dog shelter. But his team traced it to a single office building in Wisconsin with about 30 employees, they wrote in the preprint paper. –Insider
“I didn’t believe a person could shed that much,” Johnson said. The workers in the building were notified and were able to get tested. Eventually, the lineage disappeared from the wastewater. However, the whole scenario is playing out again as Johnson claims he only wants the person to seek treatment.
“If someone has this infection, the chances that they’re going to figure out what it is is nil,” he told Insider, adding that there was currently no test available in the U.S. to test stool for COVID. “I’m trying to get the word out so that they might figure it out and put it together.”
But if there’s no test for stool, how are they testing the sewage? Not much about this makes sense other than an attempt to keep the scamdemic relevant.