COVID source shout-out: WastewaterSCAN’s newsletter

Map of WastewaterSCAN sites, from the project’s March 24 newsletter.

A few weeks ago, I learned that the WastewaterSCAN project has a newsletter, which shares updates about COVID-19 and other diseases nationally and for the Bay Area in California. It’s a helpful resource for following infectious disease trends.

WastewaterSCAN, for any readers who might be unfamiliar, is a wastewater surveillance project founded by researchers at Stanford and Emory Universities. The project started in 2020 by monitoring wastewater in the Bay Area for SARS-CoV-2, but has since expanded to about 150 sites nationwide and six testing targets: the coronavirus, flu, RSV, mpox, norovirus, and human metapneumovirus (HMPV).

In the newsletter, the SCAN team shares summary data about all of these diseases, as well as some variant analysis for SARS-CoV-2. The language is sometimes a bit technical (as its primary audience is the team’s academic and public health partners), but still very useful for seeing where diseases are rising or falling. SCAN’s local updates are especially helpful for anyone living in the Bay Area.

Also, the SCAN team recently had a paper published in the Lancet discussing their work monitoring wastewater for diseases beyond COVID-19. The new article shows this technology’s potential for broader public health surveillance.

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