Attica, Greece’s most populous region, plans to establish a wastewater monitoring system which, experts say, can provide crucial early warnings against threats to public health.
The €1.85 million project, to be overseen by the General Secretariat for Public Health and the National Organization of Public Health (EODY), will be funded by the European Social Fund.
A network of testing labs will analyze sewage and wastewater for coronaviruses, hepatitis and influenza viruses, as well as medicines and drugs. Experts say that during the Covid pandemic, wastewater analysis has been more cost effective in providing early signs of infection than PCR or lateral flow testing.
The project will also include the development of AI-enhanced methods for epidemiology forecasting, as well as an early warning system that will help deploy resources aimed at containing diseases before they can turn into epidemics.