Just one wastewater treatment plant captures waste collected from thousands to millions of people. It has become apparent that COVID-19 testing in wastewater as part of routine wastewater surveillance can be used as a non-invasive early-warning tool – sometimes 1-2 weeks ahead the rise of confirmed cases in the region – to alert communities to COVID-19 infections.
Several governmental public health agencies from Australia to the Netherlands introduced regular monitoring programs to measure the presence of SARS-COV-2 coronavirus in wastewater. The National Public Health Center of Hungary is among those authorities and started regular sampling and testing since June, 2020.
Wastewater samples are taken and being analyzed on a regular basis from several wastewater treatment plants located in the largest communities of Hungary. Test results are visualized on infographics, indicating the scale of infection from low to high, and the main trends (declining, stagnant, increasing or rapidly increasing):
It is without a doubt this approach of COVID-19 testing in wastewater might be one of the cheapest and most representative alternatives of following trends in large communities, while providing an indication of “true” presence of COVID-19 in certain areas.
If you’d like to learn more or discuss with a Transcend wastewater expert, you can reach out to the author, Imre Toth, by clicking here.