Study of wastewater for detecting areas with COVID-19

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The study of wastewater for signs of COVID-19 includes ASU working with the City of Tempe to identify areas of COVID-19 concern. Now, the University of Arizona has narrowed testing to include separate buildings on the Tucson campus, including dorms. Dr. Ian Pepper is leading the effort, he’s the director of the U of A’s Water and Energy Sustainable Technology Center.

Wastewater epidemiology relies on testing the wastewater from a community with traces of the virus. Once the test is done it will be an indicator of the severity of the outbreak. Dr. Pepper emphasizes the importance of the test because it can detect one infection in 10,000. With just one test you get a feel of how prevalent it is in the community. The most notable feature is that it can pick up asymptomatic cases.

Dr. Ian Pepper, Director of the UA Water and Energy Sustainable Technology Center

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