UWM engineering student helps track COVID-19 in wastewater

Melissa Schussman

A student in UWM’s College of Engineering & Applied Science is taking part in sewage-testing research that tells the story of COVID-19 in the Milwaukee community.

Melissa Schussman, a master’s student in Civil & Environmental Engineering, works in the laboratory of Sandra McLellan, a professor in UWM’s School of Freshwater Sciences and affiliate professor in UWM’s College of Engineering & Applied Science.

For the past two years, McLellan’s research team has tracked the spread of COVID-19 by testing wastewater samples. Because every person who contracts COVID -19 passes the virus in their bodily waste, sewage samples offer a reliable way to confirm a community’s infection rates, variants and trends.

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