As COVID and Monkeypox cases increase, scientists start testing wastewater to detect viruses

ATLANTA, Ga — Water facilities in Fulton County are diving into the fight against Monkeypox and COVID.

Channel 2′s Audrey Washington was at the Camp Creek Water Reclamation Facility Tuesday when scientists filled bottles with wastewater for testing.

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Those bottles will go to a lab, where the water will be tested for the COVID and the monkeypox virus. Wastewater testing is a unique way to detect both viruses.

“This testing is a way for us to really gauge where we really are,” Robb Pitts, Chairman of Fulton County Commissioners says.

After the water is collected at the facility, it is then placed in a bottle and that bottle is then sent to a lab, where the testing begins.

“Within a couple of days we get the results back and then it is posted to our dashboard,” Patrick Person, Water Quality Manager says.


Health officials say both COVID and monkeypox cases are on the rise in Fulton County.

They believe testing the water will lead to better knowledge about how many people are infected and what policies need to go into effect.

“Gives us more information as to the severity of these viruses,” Pitts says.

“Okay what’s out there? This sewage shed is the Camp Creek, Fulton, Fairburn area so everything comes here, so it gives our policy makers information about, hey who’s infected in this area. What’s in this area,” Person says.

Officials told Channel 2′s Audrey Washington they collected wastewater from other facilities in Fulton county.

The county is expected to get the results back in a week.

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