Tracking epidemics at the population level through wastewater-based epidemiology
Throughout the world, wastewater is continually collected from human populations and conveyed to central locations for treatment and/or discharge. The chemical and biological features of wastewater contain insight into the disease state and behavior of a community. This talk reports on the Yale COVID-19 wastewater project, where daily samples were collected from eight different wastewater treatment facilities representing 20 Connecticut towns and cities and covering a population of more than one million. Tracking SARS-CoV-2 concentrations in these treatment facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic and linking these concentrations to public health data demonstrate how wastewater-based epidemiology can be a rapid, cost-effective, and accurate measure of disease dynamics within a community.
Jordan Peccia is the Thomas E. Golden Jr. Professor of environmental engineering at Yale University. His research mixes genetics with engineering to study childhood exposure to bacteria, fungi, and viruses in buildings. Peccia is a member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering and associate editor for the journal Indoor Air. He earned his Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of Colorado.