Missouri tracks spread of delta variant using wastewater

Jun 24, 2021

The COVID-19 delta variant is spreading rapidly through Missouri and state officials are turning to wastewater for answers.

The delta variant, which first emerged in India last fall, now accounts for about 10% of new virus cases in the U.S., according to estimates from the Centers for Disease and Prevention, and is hitting small, rural Missouri towns particularly hard.

Officials in Missouri have tracked COVID-19 and its variants since February by testing samples of wastewater from more than 50 communities across the state through the Sewershed Surveillance Project.

The initiative is a collaborative effort between the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the University of Missouri.

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