MADISON (WKOW) – Throughout the pandemic, scientists have made progress in using wastewater to detect COVID-19 levels in communities.
Now, researchers in Wisconsin have also begun sequencing for specific variants of COVID-19 in wastewater.
Right now they say that they largely see the Omicron variant in Denmark’s county.
“We are pleased that we have sequencing underway and that we can detect variants and wastewater by using it,” said Dr. Kayley Janssen of the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene.
According to Janssen, wastewater is both a telling and cost-effective way to see where society stands.
“Testing every single person in a community would cost a lot, as opposed to just a single sample using wastewater,” Janssen said.
In addition to using sequencing to detect variants, Dr. Dagmara Antkiewicz of the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene that they also use it to detect flu.
“We also tracked the flu, so the flu, the two major strains A and B,” Antikewicz said.
Right now, doctors say sewage in Madison is showing a ‘no change.’
“I would generally say that in Wisconsin, things are a bit at a stable level, showing a decline right now in the entire state, “Janssen said.
Doctors hope to continue using sequencing to help track viruses into the future.