Study: Sewer samples signal pending rise or fall in COVID-19

Apr 7, 2021

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno are among the latest to utilize a model that helps predict if confirmed COVID-19 cases in a local community will significantly rise or fall in the week ahead.

Scientists say data sampled from sewers and wastewater treatment plants in the Reno-Sparks area last year showed a correlation to the number of positive tests for coronavirus that would follow in about seven days.

“It clearly reflects the extent of the disease as it was determined by human testing, so it is a good leading indicator of what’s happening in the community,” said Krishna Pagilla, a UNR professor of environmental engineering who led the study.

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