WASTEWATER MAY HELP PREDICT THE NEXT COVID-19 OUTBREAK
he secret to predicting viral outbreaks like COVID-19 might be in our sewers. A Michigan State University researcher is spearheading a study to determine if viral outbreaks can be identified and forecasted through wastewater sampling.
Funded by the Great Lakes Water Authority, MSU’s Irene Xagoraraki is using a method from one of her recently completed studies to test and predict COVID-19 in Detroit that can deliver warnings of potential outbreaks even before they appear in health facilities.
“If our prediction models are showing early warning signals of a problem, we could sound the alarm for state and federal authorities to prepare for an outbreak,” said Xagoraraki, associate professor in environmental engineering at MSU. “The medical community needs to be armed with resources to help these communities and early action might be one of the answers.”