Skip to main content
Explore URMC
menu
URMC / EHSC / News

 

News

Find Us on Facebook

20222021202020192018

Katrina Korfmacher, Ph.D. Featured in Environmental Factor - Your Online Source for NIEHS News

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Wastewater-based epidemiology comes of age during pandemic

Wastewater sampling provides noninvasive, cost-effective tool for tracking disease prevalence and spread, say experts at NIEHS event.

Katrina Korfmacher, Ph.D., from the University of Rochester, said that at the start of the pandemic, historically disadvantaged communities in upstate New York were disproportionately affected by the virus.

“We thought wastewater monitoring in communities with low testing rates could counteract inequities in the pandemic response by determining where resources were needed,” she said.

A first step was to develop capacity, understanding, and experience within local institutions. So, Korfmacher helped assemble a coalition of local governments and colleges to sample wastewater.

Results from surveillance of student populations allowed colleges to implement strong public health rules, such as closing in-person instruction, without having to track down individual students for testing.

“Wastewater was a valuable part of our overall testing system,” she told attendees.

Read More: Katrina Korfmacher, Ph.D. Featured in Environmental Factor - Your Online Source for NIEHS News