SciCafe: Sewer Surveillance to Track Viruses in NYC

Part of SciCafe

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

An illustration of the coronavirus, demonstrating the spikes - the coronas - that adorn the outer surface of the virus. Courtesy of Alissa Eckert, MSMI; Dan Higgins, MAMS
Learn how scientists monitor viruses in New York City's wastewater.

During the COVID pandemic, officials in New York City closely monitored sewage samples for signs of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to track where it could be circulating and if the level of concentration could help anticipate surges. Now, wastewater monitoring is being used in conjunction with other methodologies to conduct surveillance for viruses like the flu, polio, and monkeypox.  

In this SciCafe, New York City Department of Environmental Protection’s Director of Regulatory Compliance Jonathan Hoffman will share how wastewater can be used to identify infection hotspots, why surveying sewers is important, and what public health officials can do with this wealth of information.

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