Water Sector News

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COVID sewage surveillance labs join the hunt for monkeypox

Aug 17, 2022

The same wastewater surveillance techniques that have emerged as a critical tool in early detection of COVID-19 outbreaks are being adapted for use in monitoring the startling spread of monkeypox across the San Francisco Bay Area and some other U.S. communities.

Before the COVID pandemic, wastewater sludge was thought to hold promise as an early indicator of community health threats, in part because people can excrete genetic evidence of infectious diseases in their feces, often before they develop symptoms of illness. Israel has for decades monitored wastewater for polio. But before COVID, such risk monitoring in the U.S. was limited largely to academic pursuits.

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