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Wastewater Epidemiology Goals

Wastewater-based epidemiology should warn of emerging viral hotspots up to a week earlier than traditional tests, and give public health workers valuable time to mobilize. The program, however, will be important for additional and future public health concerns.

Wastewater Epidemiology Team

Rachel Poretsky

Rachel Poretsky

University of Illinois at Chicago: Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

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Abhilasha Shrestha

University of Illinois at Chicago: Research Assistant Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

Packman Aaron

Aaron Packman

Northwestern University: Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Wells George

George Wells

Northwestern University: Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering


Ahmed Abokifa

University of Illinois at Chicago, Assistant Professor; Civil, Materials, and Environmental Engineering

C Negri 2019

Christina Negri

Argonne National Laboratory: Division Directory, Environmental Science Division

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Sarah Owens

Argonne National Laboratory: Sequencing Laboratory Manager, Biosciences Division

In the News

NBC 5 Investigates: Searching The Sewers For COVID-19 at the Cook County Jail


“You know, I wanted to get as far out front of determining what the positivity rate was in the jail,” Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart told NBC5. “It’s just a proactive thing that I really wanted to do.”

The process is complex, but the premise is rather simple. After all, anyone infected with the virus sheds evidence of it in their waste…

Argonne scientists track community spread of COVID-19 in wastewater


Wastewater provides a clue to virus transmission.

In the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, finding ways to improve testing has been key to addressing the spread of disease. While much effort has focused on testing individual people, scientists have begun to explore large-scale sampling of wastewater to understand patterns of viral transmission over larger areas.

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory are participating in a pilot study to sample wastewater at some of the Chicago area’s wastewater treatment plants…

Walder Foundation Awards Discovery Partners Institute $1.25 Million

DPI Press Release

The Walder Foundation has awarded a Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) science team led by the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) $1.25 million to develop a prototype capability for detecting COVID-19 outbreaks and trends in Chicago’s wastewater.

The goal of the Chicago Prototype Coronavirus Assessment Network Node, or PCANN, is to create a non-invasive, cost-effective way to examine community spread of the virus, by monitoring its initial appearance or changes over time in the city’s wastewater systems…