Can changes in community COVID-19 infections be accurately identified through wastewater surveillance? New research from Environmental Science & Technology indicates that we are getting closer to that goal! The study identifies a method that reveals COVID-19 in wastewater samples and tracks the increase or decrease of infection rates.
Testing wastewater can also be used for supplementing public health information in efforts to contain the virus.
The test works by identifying and measuring RNA (genetic material) from SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This data complements data from clinical testing and could give us more insight into infection levels in communities. Tracking surges is necessary to managing the virus, and COVID-19 is notoriously difficult to track because mild or asymptomatic cases often go undetected and therefore unreported. Identifying spikes faster can give local officials opportunity to act faster before hospitalizations overwhelm health systems and the virus becomes more difficult to contain.
To learn more about this groundbreaking science and how studying wastewater can help us conquer COVID-19, click here.