COVID source shout-out: Variant data from wastewater

New York City is one of a few jurisdictions contributing variant sequencing data from wastewater to CDC NWSS.

I recently learned that the CDC is publishing a limited amount of variant surveillance data from its National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS).

While NWSS is mostly focused on tracking coronavirus concentrations in wastewater as a proxy for transmission patterns, about 100 sites in the national network are also sequencing their wastewater samples and providing variant data. These data are available on the “Variant Summary” page of the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, along with data from the CDC’s clinical specimen and traveler surveillance systems.

The NWSS variant data is not very representative of the entire country (as a relatively small number of jurisdictions are sending the CDC this information), but this is still a helpful starting point for expanding wastewater surveillance to include sequencing. I hope to see this program expand in the coming months.

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