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Wastewater Monitoring Can Anchor Global Disease Surveillance Systems

Despite decades of funding being directed into global infectious disease surveillance, and warning signs that came from both traditional and non-traditional data sources, much of the world was caught off-guard by the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 globally.,  The pandemic would potentially have unfolded differently if there had been a dedicated surveillance system that was on constant alert, continuously transmitting information about existing and emerging pathogens circulating across the globe. With such a system in place, experts would have identified SARS-CoV-2 far more quickly. Even if pandemic spread was inevitable, health-care systems could have better prepared for the fallout with more advanced notice, saving countless lives.

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This article first appeared in The Lancet on June, 2023