A global wastewater surveillance program could have stopped the spread of COVID-19, Northeastern researcher says

Maintaining and enhancing wastewater surveillance programs that sprung up around the globe in response to COVID-19 will be key to halting the next pandemic, a Northeastern researcher says.

“If we’d had the kind of wastewater surveillance systems that now exist in most places, I think we would have stopped” COVID-19 from spreading, says Samuel V. Scarpino, director of AI and Life Sciences at the Institute for Experiential AI at Northeastern.

Scarpino is co-author of a new paper in The Lancet Global Health that says a survey of 43 countries shows the promise of wastewater surveillance as an early warning system in mitigating future global health threats.

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