NYC Health + Hospitals announced its new Biosurveillance Program, which tests wastewater for infectious diseases. Launched in February at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, the program has successfully predicted changes in Covid and flu rates 10 to 14 days before those results are seen clinically at the hospital. Starting next week, the program will expand to include testing for polio and monkeypox. Samples collected from hospital wastewater are tested by the Queens College CUNY Wastewater Epidemiology Laboratory (WETLAB) for the presence of Covid and flu and then tested by the Pandemic Response Laboratory for sequencing.
“Tracking virus genomic sequences in wastewater provides vital disease prevalence information for community health, including those without direct access to healthcare,” said Jon Laurent, Vice President of Research and Development, Pandemic Response Lab. “With close to 100,000 COVID samples sequenced for epidemiological surveillance, we are proud to lend our sequencing capabilities to monitor other emerging infectious disease threats, such as monkeypox and polio, and to improve public health.”
NYC Health + Hospitals Announces Wastewater Surveillance Program at its 11 Hospitals