The Next Frontier In Hunting Down The Virus: The Sewer System
While wastewater surveillance has been used for years in developing countries to detect outbreaks of polio, in the U.S. it has been used more recently to track opioid use within communities. There's no strong evidence that shows the coronavirus is present in human waste, but some experts think it could be a way to identify areas at risk.
CDC Eyes Tracking Coronavirus Through Human Waste
The federal government is eyeing a new strategy for monitoring the spread of the deadly coronavirus. It involves poop. The U.S. has struggled to keep pace with other advanced countries on coronavirus testing, and now is considering tracking the spread of the virus through sewage systems as a way to predict where the next hotspot may be. (Woodruff Swan, Lippman and Snider, 5/1)
In other news from the CDC —
The New York Times:
Labs Across U.S. Join Federal Initiative To Study Coronavirus Genome
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday announced a national initiative to speed research into how the coronavirus was spreading around the country, bringing together at least 75 public health, academic and commercial institutions studying its genome. As the virus replicates, tiny mutations accumulate in its genetic code. Those differences help scientists trace patterns of transmission and investigate outbreaks. They also provide an understanding of how the virus is evolving, which can affect the accuracy of diagnostic tests and the effectiveness of treatments and vaccines. (Fink, 4/30)