July 20 - July 24, 2020

Throughout May and June,researchers from Arizona State University and the EPA were looking at new approaches to monitoring SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. Do you think the practice will prove to be a faster indicator of an infected community verses current individual testing methods?

Answers Votes
No. 59%
Yes. 28%
Other (please explain in the comments section). 13%

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Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; COVID-19; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Health & Safety; Latin America; North America

Comment from Michael Halliwell, (7/20/2020, 11:17 AM)

It's a bit of apples and oranges comparison. Individual tests are great for individual cases, but they still only reflect those going to get tested. Sure the results can be aggregated and compared to the community population, but it doesn't account for other factors (untested people, people who test before or after the detection range). Wastewater based testing is trying to be more of a population aggregate test...but I can see several sizable challenges. In a smaller community, there is a higher potential for skewed results (especially with diarrhea added to the list of symptoms) and what indicates for one community may not be adequate for others, especially regional systems where there can be more larger geographic areas involved. Additionally, there is some evidence to suggests virus shedding in feces continues after the active illness. I like that they are thinking outside the box, but I'm just not quite sure about the effectiveness.

Comment from Robert Dahlstrom, (7/23/2020, 12:30 PM)

I don't believe it's an either or, both should be used and depending on the efficacy of the data from the wastewater monitoring it could be a way to detect communities that are experiencing outbreaks.

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (7/24/2020, 9:29 AM)

Seems like a reasonable screening method for early detection in a community, to complement existing approaches.

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