Since the pandemic began, a team of Ottawa researchers has been looking in the sewers for answers about the spread of COVID 19. What they have found and developed could be game changers in helping to control spread of the disease.
And a more sensitive method of testing that sewage, developed by a team led by Dr. Alex MacKenzie, senior scientist at the CHEO Research Institute, could make the early warning system more effective.
Article content continueduOttawa engineering professor Robert Delatolla, MacKenzie, and a team of researchers have produced one paper not yet peer reviewed or published showing that their analysis of wastewater in Ottawa and Gatineau is useful in tracking the number of COVID 19 cases in a community.
Research being led by the CHEO Research Institute's MacKenzie, could make that surveillance tool more accurate and potentially give public health officials an even earlier warning system by tracking proteins instead of RNA.
Ottawa researchers say they would eventually like to see wastewater surveillance expanded to pilot projects across the province that could test communities as well as schools and long term care homes in real time.