Scientists Are Monitoring Sewage For The Coronavirus More than 100 cities are monitoring sewage for the presence of the coronavirus, and public health officials think wastewater could provide an early warning system to help detect future spikes. NPR science correspondent Lauren Sommer explains how it works, and why scientists who specialize in wastewater-based epidemiology think it could be used to monitor community health in other ways.

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What You Flush Is Helping Track The Coronavirus

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What You Flush Is Helping Track The Coronavirus

What You Flush Is Helping Track The Coronavirus

What You Flush Is Helping Track The Coronavirus

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/858566363/859142463" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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An aerial view of the East Bay Municipal Utility District Wastewater Treatment Plant on in Oakland, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

An aerial view of the East Bay Municipal Utility District Wastewater Treatment Plant on in Oakland, California.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

More than 100 cities are monitoring sewage for the presence of the coronavirus, and public health officials think wastewater could provide an early warning system to help detect future spikes. NPR science correspondent Lauren Sommer explains how it works, and why scientists who specialize in wastewater-based epidemiology think it could be used to monitor community health in other ways.

Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Brit Hanson and Brent Baughman, fact-checked by Emily Vaughn, and edited by Viet Le.