One lesson learned is that wastewater can tell you a lot about a population.
Therefore, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Centers for Disease Control launched the National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS) in September 2020.
The NWSS was established to coordinate and trace the Covid virus in wastewater samples collected across the country.
“This allows wastewater monitoring to serve as an early warning that COVID-19 is spreading in the community. Once health departments are aware, communities can act quickly to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” the CDC says.
Wastewater surveillance can be an early warning system that can detect small changes in disease spread. Epidemiologists from Yale University were able to detect polio virus in wastewater during a polio outbreak in the summer of 1939.
Yale University scientists concluded at the time that “this virus can be transmitted, at least short distances, through the medium of flowing sewage.”
In 2022, as Covid began to take a back seat to other public concerns, wastewater monitoring is now giving the CDC data on another potential outbreak that has led to both California and New York City declaring states of emergency.
Monkeypox in the sector
As of August 1, there are 23 probable and confirmed cases of monkeypox in Clark County, and the Southern Nevada Health District is looking at feces to get the situation under control.
“The good thing is that the monkeypox signal is relatively low and comes from strategic manholes serving sections of the Las Vegas strip and from at least 1/15 of the sewage treatment plants,” UNLV Associate Professor Edwin Oh told CBS8. in Vegas. Vegas.
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The UNLV surveillance program covers about 2.4 million people and this coverage should be able to detect if there are increasing cases of the virus in the population.
The wastewater being studied originates from water from casinos and hotels located in the Strip and other locations in the area.
People with monkeypox excrete viral DNA through skin lesions, saliva, feces, and urine.
“Viral levels are currently lower than our readings, indicating that transmission does not occur in Las Vegas,” Oh said, according to Casino.org. “The actual number of people infected may be higher than the reported numbers.”
Monkeypox infection usually comes from skin contact with an infected person and it can also be transmitted through sexual contact. The virus is painful but sometimes fatal.
Infection in big cities
Last week, San Francisco became the first major city to declare a public health emergency due to an increase in monkeypox cases.
New York City followed suit over the weekend.
New York Mayor Eric Adams has described the five boroughs as the “epicentre” of the country’s monkeypox outbreak, saying as many as 150,000 city residents may be at risk of infection.
New York Governor Kathy Hochhol (D) has issued a disaster emergency that will enable additional health care workers, including emergency medical teams and midwives, to administer the vaccine.
Symptoms of monkeypox usually begin with a flu-like illness, followed by a rash. Symptoms include: fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and chills, according to the SNHD.
The rash resembles blisters or fluid-filled blisters that can occur on the hands, feet, chest, face, genitals, or inside the body, including the mouth, vagina, or anus.
It often takes seven to 14 days for symptoms to appear after exposure. Monkeypox usually lasts for two to four weeks.