Use case

TopUse case Tracking of “COVID-19 and other enteric diseases” by studying sewage

【Health】Bangladesh, Pakistan|AW3D Enhanced DTM (2m)

Tracking of “COVID-19 and other enteric diseases” by studying sewage

The University of Virginia, US
icddr,b, Bangladesh
Christian Medical College in Vellore, India
Imperial College London, UK
Supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Dr. Mami Taniuchi, an infectious disease researcher from the University of Virginia, and collaborators from icddr,b, and Imperial College London established integrated environmental surveillance for COVID-19 and other enteric diseases like poliovirus, typhoid, and cholera in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supports the project.

One of the most critical aspects of successful environmental surveillance is accurate estimates of each site's catchment population and area. This is especially challenging when using free 30m resolution maps in a densely populated city like Dhaka to select sites for wastewater sampling accurately.

Investigators from this project worked with Novel-T to create interactive maps using affordable but highly accurate AW3D enhanced DTM (2m resolution) maps. The maps made it possible to locate environmental surveillance sites with the highest precision and streamlined the blue line tracing of all informal and formal sewage lines in the study area. As a result, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was first detected in the environmental samples in mid-March, well ahead of the rise in COVID-19 cases in Bangladesh.

Covid-19 hotspots with sewage lines using AW3D Enhanced in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Dr. Taniuchi says that environmental surveillance can serve as a sensitive early warning system to capture the hotspots of community transmission of disease and complementary surveillance to clinical surveillance, especially in cases where clinical surveillance is incomplete. In addition, by utilizing this kind of system, it is possible to roll out targeted public health interventions to mitigate COVID-19, such as "local lockdown," where transmission is high instead of a country-wide lockdown.

Additionally, the team is currently working with Aga Khan University to implement similar integrated sewage and clinical case surveillances in Karachi, one of the largest cities in Pakistan. They also purchased AW3D Enhanced DTM (2m resolution) for Novel-T to develop an interactive map for the study. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also supports this work.

AW3D continues to support customers who fight against COVID-19.

Cooperation/Reference/Data source

Dr. Mami Taniuchi
Associate Professor, Medicine: Infectious Diseases and International Health


Back to the list