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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(36): 1242-1244, 2021 Sep 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1441395


Wastewater surveillance, the measurement of pathogen levels in wastewater, is used to evaluate community-level infection trends, augment traditional surveillance that leverages clinical tests and services (e.g., case reporting), and monitor public health interventions (1). Approximately 40% of persons infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, shed virus RNA in their stool (2); therefore, community-level trends in SARS-CoV-2 infections, both symptomatic and asymptomatic (2) can be tracked through wastewater testing (3-6). CDC launched the National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS) in September 2020 to coordinate wastewater surveillance programs implemented by state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments to support the COVID-19 pandemic response. In the United States, wastewater surveillance was not previously implemented at the national level. As of August 2021, NWSS includes 37 states, four cities, and two territories. This report summarizes NWSS activities and describes innovative applications of wastewater surveillance data by two states, which have included generating alerts to local jurisdictions, allocating mobile testing resources, evaluating irregularities in traditional surveillance, refining health messaging, and forecasting clinical resource needs. NWSS complements traditional surveillance and enables health departments to intervene earlier with focused support in communities experiencing increasing concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. The ability to conduct wastewater surveillance is not affected by access to health care or the clinical testing capacity in the community. Robust, sustainable implementation of wastewater surveillance requires public health capacity for wastewater testing, analysis, and interpretation. Partnerships between wastewater utilities and public health departments are needed to leverage wastewater surveillance data for the COVID-19 response for rapid assessment of emerging threats and preparedness for future pandemics.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health Surveillance/methods , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Waste Water/virology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. , Humans , United States/epidemiology
Journal of Environmental Health ; 83(9):30-31, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1192843


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be releasing the 4th edition of the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC, in the coming months. The MAHC represents a collaboration among local, state, and federal public health officials, particularly environmental health practitioners, and representatives of the aquatics sector to optimize prevention of illness and injury associated with public aquatic venues (e.g., pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds). Cyanuric acid (CYA) binds to chlorine to prevent it from being degraded by UV light from the sun. Consequently, CYA increases the amount of time it takes for chlorine to inactivate pathogens. CYA is sold as a stand-alone product or as chlorinated isocyanurates (chlorine and CYA, commonly known as dichlor or trichlor). In 2015, CMAHC established a CYA ad hoc committee that included representatives from across the CYA industry and researchers but did not include state or local public health officials. CMAHC charged the committee to develop guidance on CYA concentrations.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(40): 1443-1449, 2020 Oct 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-842498


Washing hands often, especially during times when one is likely to acquire and spread pathogens,* is one important measure to help prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), as well as other pathogens spread by respiratory or fecal-oral transmission (1,2). Studies have reported moderate to high levels of self-reported handwashing among adults worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic (3-5)†; however, little is known about how handwashing behavior among U.S. adults has changed since the start of the pandemic. For this study, survey data from October 2019 (prepandemic) and June 2020 (during pandemic) were compared to assess changes in adults' remembering to wash their hands in six situations.§ Statistically significant increases in reported handwashing were seen in June 2020 compared with October 2019 in four of the six situations; the odds of remembering to wash hands was 2.3 times higher among respondents after coughing, sneezing, or blowing their nose, 2.0 times higher before eating at a restaurant, and 1.7 times higher before eating at home. Men, young adults aged 18-24 years, and non-Hispanic White (White) adults were less likely to remember to wash hands in multiple situations. Strategies to help persons remember to wash their hands frequently and at important times should be identified and implemented, especially among groups reporting low prevalence of remembering to wash their hands.

Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Hand Disinfection , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult