The persistence of the Ebola virus in wastewater has caused significant questions. Researchers recently tested sewage that was sterilized to remove the infectious particles. They found that the viral titer decreased by nearly 99 percent on the first day, due to aggregation and inactivation of the virus particles. The decline was less rapid on subsequent days, and the infectious particles were present for up to eight days.
In order to determine the amount of Ebola virus in wastewater, scientists have conducted two laboratory tests. One used a TCID50 test, which measures cell death at 50% dilution. The other used a Poisson distribution for focus-forming units and an infectious titer calculation. In both tests, samples were collected daily and tested at a temperature of 20 degC for 8 days.
These results indicate that the Ebola virus persists in disinfected wastewater after treatment. The study is preliminary and limited by limitations. In order to obtain accurate data, more studies need to be conducted. However, this initial evaluation should provide guidance for ongoing risk assessments. Further research should test for the persistence of the virus in sterilized wastewater. The current Ebola outbreak strain from Guinea was spiked in the wastewater to two end concentrations (TCIDs) and eight days were followed to determine if the inactivated viruses persisted after the process.
A study in 2013 showed that the virus was persistent in disinfected domestic wastewater. The results also showed that the Ebola virus was indistinguishable from other microbial agents in the ash. The findings have implications for public health and safety. It is essential to prevent the spread of the disease. For the purposes of prevention, water-treatment should be implemented in hospitals, schools, and health care facilities.