Wastewater Could Hold Critical COVID-19 Data

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  • Several teams of scientists believe that human waste may hold the key to determining when a community is ready to lift its lockdown.
  • Initial studies show that "Wastewater-based-epidemiology" is an effective tool to measure both general COVID-19 infection rates, as well as the moment where COVID-19 ailments begins subsiding.
  • Studying the sewage could potentially fill a lot of the data holes left by testing shortages, false negatives, and asymptomatic carriers.
  • According to experts, the amount of virus detected in wastewater can accurately reflect the timing and scale of an outbreak in ways that delayed in-person testing cannot.
  • While the idea may seems gross in the Americas, wastewater-based epidemiology has been successfully deployed in multiple other places throughout the world over the last 40 years.