Using wastewater based surveillance to contain spread of CoVID-19 (wastewater-based epidemiology, WBE)

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  • paresh
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Using wastewater based surveillance to contain spread of CoVID-19 (wastewater-based epidemiology, WBE)

(Note by moderator: a related thread from India during a 3-week thematic discussion is available here )

Dear all, 
There is an interesting lesson and example emerging from University of Arizona of using wastewater based surveillance to contain spread of CoVID-19.  After the University opened and students occupied hostels, wastewater from one of the halls detected presence of virus. All the students in the hall were immediately tested and the two infected asymptomatic students  isolated. This has averted spread of the virus to other students in the hall and the university classes. 

I believe the lesson is important for other institutes (including my own) planning to open gradually. 

Source: A twitter thread by @cfishman

Regards
paresh
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  • kelldigest
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Re: Using wastewater based surveillance to contain spread of CoVID-19 (wastewater-based epidemiology, WBE)

This is very exciting. A great way to keep people safe and validate operational models in the context of COVID 19
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  • Chandana
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Re: Using wastewater based surveillance to contain spread of CoVID-19 (wastewater-based epidemiology, WBE)

Nice initiative. It is very necessary in this pandemic time.  
I have completed my BE in civil engineering with a distinction in 2011.
From 2011-2013 I worked as a software engineer in IBM.
later I completed my master in environmental engineering in NIT Warangal . My Mtech thesis was done in NEERI, Nagpur on "Indoor air pollution in micro-environments".
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Re: Using wastewater based surveillance to contain spread of CoVID-19 (wastewater-based epidemiology, WBE)

Hi everyone,

Today's New York Times has an interesting article entitled Looking to Reopen, Colleges Become Labs for Coronavirus Tests and Tracking Apps .  

As Paresh mentions, the University of Arizona recently spotted a COVID-19 outbreak in a single dormitory building using wastewater testing and was able to quarantine residents and halt spreading.  The technology is also being used in other universities.  Since many on this thread are researchers looking into this, you may want to contact the experts mentioned or the universities themselves for further details.

In addition to wastewater testing at the level of buildings, some campuses are testing phone apps that let users know if and when they have been in the proximity of a COVID+ person.   The article notes that the high degree of trust on many campuses facilitates testing of technologies that are crucially needed throughout the United States, where more than 182,000 lives have been lost to COVID-19.  

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a mighty foe as it fights for its survival by finding new human hosts. As an infected person exhales, the virus lurks airborne waiting for a non-infected person to inhale and become a new host. 

Carol
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  • jay bhagwan
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Re: Using wastewater based surveillance to contain spread of CoVID-19 (wastewater-based epidemiology, WBE)

The WRC has made significant progress.  have a look at our site for recent updates.   http://www.wrc.org.za/covid-surveillance-programme/
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  • drgs
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Re: Topic 1 Protocol to test sewage for early warnings about COVID-19

www-indiatoday-in.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s...i-1717267-2020-09-01

Task Force of eminent public health experts issued the following opinion or advice on India Covid-19.
1. From graded re-opening of schools to discontinuing the lockdown strategy for pandemic control are some of the measures suggested
2. Lockdown as a strategy to be discontinued
3.  "cluster restrictions should be considered only in areas with no community transmission."

WBE is capable of picking up Covid-19 RNA. There is no doubt on it.

Where does that detail becomes actionable information? 
What should be the WBE screening strategy? 
Who are the key influencers in the national health care in present Pandemic situation?

At this point, India has world's largest daily Covid-19 infections reported. 80K to 100K is not very far.
A cursory glance at the distribution points to wide spread cases geographically.

Unless a clear approach is definable, an availablity of high tech is "Good to Know", but not worthy to act upon.

SME in this community need to arrive at clear road map for actionable intervention using WBE. 

Thanks.
Certifying Oil & Gas Reserves helped in realizing the fallibility of lot of Science and Technology. I believe that reliable and sustainable science needs integrity and commitment. Disbelief in science is originating from - i) Pseudo-Science; ii) Inconsistency and conflict in scientific doctrine; and iii) Weak Evidence: Data, Process, Review and Results.
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  • fppirco
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Re: Covid19 transmission risk factors via toilet with aerosols

Dear Stuart 

Below link we have just recevied is about waste water monitoring

www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/10/sewage-su...tent=30/10/2020+14:4

With best regards

Mohammad 
Researcher and consultant
Attachments:
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Re: Using wastewater based surveillance to contain spread of CoVID-19 (wastewater-based epidemiology, WBE)

Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) are premier institutes in the city of Hyderabad, India. Well respected for their methodology and inference. They are among the most qualified and accredited researchers on this subject in the city of Hyderabad. 

In August 2020, they applied WBE methods and assessed that the city of Hyderabad has 260,000 active Covid-19 cases. At the same time, the disclosure from the Government is 49,162 active. (Invalid consumer key/secret in configuration ) 

Most recent 'India’s Covid-19 fatality rate drops to 1.47, but R value increases to 0.95'. It had been slowly decreasing between August and November.

IF the WBE is even a reasonable but erroneous assessment (say, +/- 50% which is more like tossing a coin), at the current levels of fatality and R-Factor of Hyderabad, the number of cases must be far in excess to anything WBE inferred

Q1. Has anyone examined how the actual performance of prediction has been in other countries and cities? Please share the details.
Q2. How many nations (now with 2nd and 3rd cycle all over Europe) have deployed the WBE as front-line technology?

More fundamental questions arise:
1. If WBE as a scientific methodology is so imprecise, why did so many advocated this to be applied?
2. What is the impact on the reliability of science with such weak methods being pushed?
3. Are such efforts creating a broader distrust in entire science? 

We could be part of the problem by advocating methods that are still ongoing experimental research as FRONT_LINE technology. Responsibility and Accountability for scientific advice are really needed.

Thanks!
Certifying Oil & Gas Reserves helped in realizing the fallibility of lot of Science and Technology. I believe that reliable and sustainable science needs integrity and commitment. Disbelief in science is originating from - i) Pseudo-Science; ii) Inconsistency and conflict in scientific doctrine; and iii) Weak Evidence: Data, Process, Review and Results.
Data Intensive Scientific Discovery (DISD) is the new paradigm for growth.
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  • paresh
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Re: Using wastewater based surveillance to contain spread of CoVID-19 (wastewater-based epidemiology, WBE)

Dear All,
Sharing a news report from India according to which the variants/mutations of the virus can be detected through WBE. 
The pre-print of the research this report is based on is available on  medRxiv  and is titled High throughput sequencing based detection of SARS-CoV-2 prevailing in wastewater of Pune, West India 

I hope somebody with expertise can explain the significance of the study and its findings. 

Regards
paresh
Paresh Chhajed-Picha
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: Using wastewater based surveillance to contain spread of CoVID-19 (wastewater-based epidemiology, WBE)

Dear Srikanth,

Last year in November you asked some very interesting critical questions:

Q1. Has anyone examined how the actual performance of prediction has been in other countries and cities? Please share the details.
Q2. How many nations (now with 2nd and 3rd cycle all over Europe) have deployed the WBE as front-line technology?

More fundamental questions arise:
1. If WBE as a scientific methodology is so imprecise, why did so many advocated this to be applied?
2. What is the impact on the reliability of science with such weak methods being pushed?
3. Are such efforts creating a broader distrust in entire science? 

My gut feeling is probably similar to yours: wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) seems to be a bit of a "scientific toy" at present, showing perhaps some interesting results in hindsight but not useful to predict anything or to prevent the spread of Covid. Here in Australia we occasionally hear in the news: "Covid detected in sewage in Brisbane" and then no new cases pop up. On the other hand, on those occasions when new cases did pop up and we had to go into lockdown, WBE results had NOT given any warning. I guess for the situation in Australia (which is still pursuing an elimination strategy for Covid), such detection methods would anyhow not be sensitive enough, given that sewage catchments are for 100,000 people or more, and only e.g. a dozen people in the catchment have the virus. Then there is also virus shedding from people who no longer have Covid but had it at some point in the past, which can also give misleading results. 

Regards,
Elisabeth

P.S. Wikipedia article about this topic is here:  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wastewater-based_epidemiology
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