Infectious Disease Surveillance
According to the WHO, wastewater surveillance can establish the presence of SARS-CoV-2 across an entire community. As wastewater contains waste from many sources, samples that are examined for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 represent the combined signature of communities regardless of health status (symptomatic, asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic, or recovered) or access to and use of clinical testing.
Furthermore, wastewater, as a representative of community-based urine and faecal samples, could be extremely useful in understanding the occurrence and outbreaks of several water-borne pathogens, including bacteria (Salmonella spp., Vibrio cholerae, Shigella spp., Campylobacter spp.), viruses (norovirus, sapovirus, adenovirus, poliovirus), protozoa (Cryptosporidium waterborne diseases which are of concern with respect to public health in India include diarrhoea, dysentery, jaundice, and cholera).
Among them, diarrhoea is listed as the third leading cause of death among children in India is the cause of 13% of deaths among children below 5 years of age and leads to an estimated 300,000 deaths among children in India each year. The information obtained from this surveillance can provide early warning signs to the government about such outbreaks, and enable actions to mitigate and prevent adverse public health outcomes.