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Houston Health Department
Rice University
Houston Public Works

Early-warning system to protect and promote human health and inform Houston’s response to viral outbreaks

A lot of progress has been made to protect and promote human health with the most notable result being increased life expectancy. Yet, the emergence of prominent outbreaks of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance have remained as critical threats to global public health today.

To address the challenge of anticipating and responding to prominent outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, Houston Wastewater Epidemiology has implemented a comprehensive, cost-effective system to monitor community infection dynamics of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19. We are also working to expand the comprehensive wastewater monitoring system to target influenza, mpox, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and other pathogens.

Pilot Wastewater Alert Program HISD Schools

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Surveillance has expanded from 20 to 53 jurisdictions across the United States

Technology shows promise for broad-scale analysis of pathogens

How Houston’s public health interventions have been guided by wastewater

New features help Houstonians understand the prevalence of COVID-19, influenza at the community level

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February 2024

De Lange Conference

February 9-10, 2024
Baker Institute, Rice University
Houston, TX

Lauren Stadler, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Rice University

Wastewater surveillance in Houston, TX: navigating science, public health and ethics in the era of environmental monitoring

AAAS Annual Meeting

February 15-17, 2024
Colorado Convention Center
Denver, CO


Katherine Ensor, Ph.D.
Noah G. Harding Professor of Statistics, Rice University
Rice University

Communicating community risk and the critical role of statistical science

March 2024

April 2024

May 2024

APHL Annual Conference

May 6-9, 2024
Baird Center
Milwaukee, WI

Rebecca Schneider
Staff Analyst, Houston Health Department

Wastewater Surveillance for Public Health