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Results are in: no monkeypox detected in Portland wastewater


Earlier this month, the Portland Water District collected samples and shipped them to Verily Life Sciences, expanding its wastewater epidemiology testing to include monkeypox, influenza A and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Initial results show no monkeypox detected in Portland’s wastewater (,%20ME:Monkeypox). 

The Portland Water District is one of the first in New England to participate in WastewaterSCAN, a national effort based at Stanford University leading an approach to monitor diseases through municipal wastewater systems and inform public health responses locally and nationally.

The Portland Water District has committed to take three samples a week and ship them to Verily Life Sciences where they will test samples for the viruses that cause COVID-19, monkeypox, influenza A, and RSV.  There is no cost to PWD to participate in the program.

The PWD will also continue to test for the virus that causes COVID-19 through a separate ongoing program with Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC).

The PWD has supported the public health sector since July 2020 by conducting wastewater epidemiology sampling at our Westbrook and Portland wastewater plants, first in partnership with Saint Joseph’s College and most recently with other government-funded programs and commercial labs.

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