Covid in the UK

Some time ago, I posted a comment on LinkedIn about how sewage monitoring could be used to focus test efforts. (I’d heard about it from a friend in the US.) Testing was still problematic in the UK back then. Very limited testing was going on.

Sewage monitoring avoids contact with infected people and the virus bits found in sewage are not infectious. More importantly, its results are much more representative than testing a specific group (for example on the basis of their profession).

This morning, The Guardian headlined:

It concerns a study by Term, a collaboration involving universities and the Joint Biosecurity Centre. Sounds good, right?

Then comes this bit:

“One of the problems we are working on is how to communicate the data to public health teams.”

Wow. Just wow. Remember who this comes from. A collaboration involving universities and the Joint Biosecurity Centre.

You could carry it out at sewage treatment plants to help you focus on broader areas (less detailed picture than when you test schools’ sewage). But if you don’t know how to communicate the results then that is a real problem and you probably urgently need some social sciences input.

What does this boil down to? Why would public health teams be reluctant to do something with these data? A fear of turf invasion? (Fear of loss of power and control?) Lack of faith in the data? lack of faith in science? What?

Read the article:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/mar/07/covid-data-show-sewage-monitoring-could-be-vital-in-infection-control