Using Wastewater Data to Communicate About Infectious Disease Dynamics in Communities
There has been tremendous interest in monitoring wastewater for specific pathogens to support infectious disease surveillance for COVID-19 and other diseases in the United States and around the globe. Evidence from multiple sources indicates that including wastewater data in public health messages about the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with greater acceptance by the public. Yet, for many audiences, the concept of wastewater surveillance is new, and the terminology is likely to be unfamiliar. This document describes how to communicate about wastewater surveillance to a variety of audiences and includes information on types of messages, data visualization, and modes of communication. It also provides guidance on how the information from wastewater surveillance can support responses to infectious disease outbreaks at local to global levels. This document uses wastewater surveillance for COVID-19 as an example, but the guidance can also be applied to other infectious diseases.