Three suburbs in Melbourne’s western suburbs have been put on alert after COVID fragments were detected in wastewater.

The Victorian Department of Health issued the warning for anyone who lives or has visited the suburbs of Werribee, Tarneit or Hoppers Crossing from 23 February 2021 and beyond.

The advice is to monitor for symptoms of coronavirus, to get tested as soon as possible if they appear and isolate until you receive your result.

“People who have or have recently had COVID-19 may shed fragments of the virus. These fragments can enter wastewater through toilet bowls, sinks and drains,” the Department of Health said in a tweet on Monday evening.

“This viral shedding may come from different sources such as used tissues, off hands and skin, or in stools.

“This may last beyond a person’s infectious period.”