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From COVID to fungus to drugs, wastewater monitoring is a game-changer for epidemiology

The University of Arizona’s Yuma Center for Excellence for Desert Agriculture led the nation in using wastewater to monitor community COVID-19 transmission at the height of the pandemic. But the technology didn’t end there.

Today, researchers at the center are using human wastewater to track a dangerous fungal outbreak you might have heard of lately: Candida aura.

And from tracking opioid use to antibiotic resistance, those are just a few of the many uses we’re seeing for this kind of wastewater-based epidemiology.

The Show spoke more about it with Bradley Schmitz, a visiting researcher who’s the project lead in Yuma.

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.