Sewer district participating in federal Monkey pox wastewater testing

Sat, 12/17/2022 - 8:45am

In January, Boothbay Harbor Sewer District began participating in a Center for Disease Control program checking for COVID-19 in wastewater. Now the district has added testing for monkey pox or mpox (a viral disease occurring in humans, mostly in central and western Africa).  

On Nov. 30, the CDC notified BHSD Superintendent Chris Higgins about the new testing. “In partnership with the CDC, we will begin testing samples from your facility for monkeypox virus (MPXV) within the next two weeks. Results will be automatically transferred to CDC and viewable by public health departments via DCIPHER (Data Collection and Integration for Public Health Event Response),” wrote a Biobot Analytics official in an email. Biobot is analyzing wastewater samples sent by Boothbay Harbor and other treatments plants participating in the national survey. 

Boothbay Harbor has sent two samples per week since January for the COVID-19 wastewater testing and will now do the same for mpox. According to Biobot officials, by year’s end, participating wastewater treatment facilities will receive weekly reports via email. Reports will be managed and sent by the CDC. Data will be made available to the public via the National Wastewater Surveillance System website and CDC’s Monkeypox website.