With the coronavirus creating unprecedented challenges for public health officials, this Route Fifty article describes how communities can use wastewater testing to broaden surveillance and better manage and monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidence cited from a 2019 Montana study of opioid, methamphetamine, and other drug use shows how wastewater testing can fill knowledge gaps, particularly when combined with existing local data sources. The goal of this work is to help state and federal officials stem future public health issues before they develop into crises or epidemics.
The story notes:
“If state and local officials invest in this rich, near-real-time data source now, they can give themselves a better chance at preventing second-wave infections and averting future epidemics.”