Why sewage may hold the key to tracking diseases far beyond COVID-19
Science and engineering advances have enabled a growing number of the disease-causing organisms called pathogens to be detectable in wastewater. That capability is making sewage a potential major source of the signs of several viral maladies and other serious health threats, including COVID-19. It has enabled Erin Driver, an assistant research scientist at ASU’s Biodesign Center for Environmental Health Engineering, to engage in effective wastewater surveillance efforts that have provided valuable information about the source, emergence and spread of disease. Driver, who earned a doctoral degree in civil, environmental and sustainable engineering from the Fulton Schools, says a growing number of scientists and engineers are now using these testing techniques that ASU researchers have helped to develop and put into practice.