CDC Announces New ‘COVID Wastewater Tracking’ Program(?!?)
One of the more interesting news information items we saw from the CDC this week was the announcement of an update on their "new" National Wastewater Surveillance System, or NWSS.
PROGRAM CLAIMS IT CAN DETECT SARS-CoV-2 COVID VIRUS IN SEWAGE
According to the CDC release:
"People infected with SARS-CoV-2 can shed the virus in their feces, even if they don’t have symptoms."
The CDC says the program is designed to serve as an "early warning" system for communities when it comes to COVID. From the CDC:
"The virus can then be detected in wastewater, enabling wastewater surveillance to capture presence of SARS-CoV-2 shed by people with and without symptoms. This allows wastewater surveillance to serve as an early warning that COVID-19 is spreading in a community."
So, what happens with this new data? Again from the CDC:
"Once health departments are aware, communities can act quickly to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Data from wastewater testing support public health mitigation strategies by providing additional crucial information about the prevalence of COVID-19 in a community."
There are approximately 400 such 'testing' sites across the US, but according to the CDC map and data provided, none in WA state yet. The closest one appears to be in Portland, OR. But indeed, the CDC is monitoring SARS-CoV-2 levels in people's 'poo' across the county. The most current data as of Friday, February 4, shows "current" data from 255 sites.
Probably not a job that a lot of people would want to have, really.
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