Monitoring COVID-19: Could medicine found in wastewater provide an early warning?

Published June 29, 2022

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Ian Bradley and Yinyin Ye were quoted in a Science Magazaine story on a UB pilot project that suggests that measuring the concentrations of medicines in wastewater could add another layer to disease-monitoring efforts.

“What’s really exciting is that there’s so much information in wastewater. How can we use this to track diseases for public health? All of these data are complementary,” says Bradley, PhD, assistant professor of civil, structural and environmental engineering in the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and a core faculty member in the UB RENEW Institute.

“We’re focusing on wastewater public health studies, and we want to see if we can integrate more data to get an idea of what’s going on in the community,” says Ye, PhD, assistant professor of civil, structural and environmental engineering, and RENEW faculty affiliate. “We can pull out information from wastewater, but there are still a lot of unknowns about how to interpret the data for public health. We want to test not just biological markers, but also chemical markers and all sorts of different layers of information.”

Read the story here. The work was reported in a number of media outlets, including Phys.org, Science Daily and WaterWorld.