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Environmental surveillance -19

Environmental surveillance -19

Over 60 Countries, many in the Americas are using wastewater monitoring for SARS-CoV-2 tracking in their communities. There are over 3 ,300 sites.

Washington, D.C., April 29, 2022 (PAHO) — New guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) provides advice to countries on sampling and testing for the SARS-CoV2 virus in untreated wastewater as part of environmental surveillance to complement COVID-19 control strategies.

Laboratories are located in Argentina, Brazil and Canada. They also have laboratories in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador. Peru, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Peru, Peru, Peru.

“This type of surveillance can provide complementary evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is circulating,” said Dr. Enrique Perez, Incident Manager for COVID-19 at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Systematic sampling of wastewater and its testing can provide supplementary information to detect the presence of the virus. He said that it was important to continue using other surveillance methods.

The WHO guidelines state that environmental surveillance “can provide early warning and further evidence concerning the virus in circulation within the population including trends in concentrations and variants or concern or interest.” However, it also highlights the challenges and difficulties in applying this method.

Wastewater surveillance has been around for a while. It can be used to detect enteric pathogens like polioviruses or enteroviral diseases, as well as to check for antibiotic-resistant bacteria. To detect the genetic material in the virus from community sewage, it uses PCR testing.

With COVID-19 circulating in all countries, routine surveillance programs have stepped up the use of the method for community-scale SARS-CoV-2 environmental surveillance to provide scientists with additional data.

This guidance document is designed to assist public health professionals in making evidence-based, programmatic decisions about the environmental surveillance value and understanding its limitations and operational implications. This guidance document provides information on how to set up an effective program and encourages the sharing of approaches and methods between countries and municipalities.

Most of the wastewater monitoring guidance is published and implemented from areas with high numbers of homes connected to the sewers. There is limited guidance available in areas with no sewers or lower resources, especially where sampling programs are able to exploit existing polio surveillance capacity.


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