Wastewater offers clues to emerging diseases

The appearance of COVID-19 in 2020 made wastewater surveillance, a tool for tracking infectious diseases in sewage, an increasingly common public health practice.  As genetic evidence of pathogens can be excreted in feces, scientists use the method to monitor SARS-CoV-2 and its variants, and have expanded its use to uncover the presence of viruses such as polio in communities.

February 2023