Why scientists say wastewater surveillance needs to continue, despite low COVID-19 levels – CBC

Practice prepares Canada’s health-care system for ‘impending wave,’ researcher says

Jul 09, 2023

Despite a majority of wastewater sites across the country reporting some of the lowest levels of COVID-19 since analysis began, some researchers say this type of surveillance should continue so Canada can be prepared for the next pandemic.

Wastewater surveillance gained prominence in recent years by providing health officials with a summary of the degree of disease among Canadians during peaks in the pandemic. But its value beyond the coronavirus was quickly realized as a crucial public health tool that could help protect people from future harmful infections.

Of the 39 sites tracked by Canada’s COVID-19 wastewater surveillance dashboard, recent data shows that about 60 per cent are reporting decreasing levels of the virus. The rest of the sites are stable or slightly lower than their previous readings.

“In the past, I would say, several weeks, we’ve seen a relatively consistent downward trend,” said Dr. Guillaume Poliquin, vice-president of the National Microbiology Laboratory, part of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/covid-19-wastewater-canada-data-1.6896416

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