Navigation Links
Effectiveness of wastewater treatment may be damaged during a severe flu pandemic
Date:3/1/2011

Existing plans for antiviral and antibiotic use during a severe influenza pandemic could reduce wastewater treatment efficiency prior to discharge into receiving rivers, resulting in water quality deterioration at drinking water abstraction points.

These conclusions are published this week (2 March 2011) in a new paper in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, which reports on a study designed to assess the ecotoxicologic risks of a pandemic influenza medical response.

The research was carried out by a team from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UK), the Institute for Scientific Interchange (Italy), Utrecht University (Netherlands), the University of Sheffield (UK), and Indiana University (USA).

The global public health community closely monitored the unfolding of the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic to best mitigate its impact on society. However, little attention was given to the impact that the medical response might have on the environment.

In order to evaluate this risk, the research team coupled a global spatially-structured epidemic model that simulates the quantities of antiviral and antibiotics used during an influenza pandemic of varying severity, with a water quality model applied to the Thames catchment in southern England to predict their environmental concentrations. An additional model was then used to assess ecotoxicologic effects of antibiotics and antiviral in wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) and rivers.

The research team concluded that, consistent with expectations, a mild pandemic (as in 2009) was projected to exhibit a negligible ecotoxicologic hazard. However in a moderate and severe pandemic nearly all WWTPs (80-100%) were projected to exceed the threshold for microbial growth inhibition, potentially reducing the capacity of the plant to treat wastewater. In addition, a proportion (5-40%) of the River Thames was similarly projected to exceed key thresholds for environmental toxicity, resulting in potential contamination and eutrophication at drinking water abstraction points.

Lead author Dr Andrew Singer, from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, said, "Our results suggest that existing plans for drug use during an influenza pandemic could result in discharge of inefficiently treated wastewater into the UK's rivers. The potential widespread release of antivirals and antibiotics into the environment may hasten the development of resistant pathogens with implications for human health during and potentially well after the formal end of the pandemic."

Dr Singer added, "We must develop a better understanding of wastewater treatment plants ecotoxicity before the hazards posed by a pandemic influenza medical response can be reliably assessed. However, the production and successful distribution of pre-pandemic and pandemic influenza vaccines could go a long way towards alleviating all of the identified environmental and human health problems highlighted in our paper, with the significant added benefit of reducing morbidity and mortality of the UK population. This latter challenge of vaccination is probably society's greatest challenge, but also where the greatest gains can be made."


'/>"/>

Contact: Barnaby Smith
bpgs@ceh.ac.uk
44-149-169-2439
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Cost-effectiveness research needs to be considered in developing new medical technology
2. Generic drug may improve the effectiveness of cancer nanotherapies
3. Blood Protein Level May Not Influence Effectiveness of Statins
4. Scientific evidence supports effectiveness of Chinese drug for cataracts
5. Gene Mutations May Blunt Plavixs Effectiveness, Study Finds
6. Taking Blood Pressure Drugs at Bedtime May Boost Effectiveness
7. UNC physician authors editorial on cost-effectiveness study for colon cancer screening
8. Implementing comparative effectiveness research: Lessons from the mammography screening controversy
9. Questioning the effectiveness of oil dispersants in Gulf oil spill
10. Hospital Focus 5 Announces Contract with Connecticut Hospital to Improve Quality, Productivity and Cost-Effectiveness
11. CellTrak Technologies Inc. Wins Prestigious I Award for Operational Effectiveness
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/11/2016)... , ... February 11, 2016 , ... The president released ... Military Health System but would shift more of the cost burden to military beneficiaries. ... plan laid out in the defense budget as including limited quantifiable benefit fixes mixed ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... plastic surgery, dermatology and women’s health, is pleased to announce the promotions of ... Development Partners sales team, Steve Catone to executive vice president of North American ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... call for nominations seeking candidates for the Board of Commissioners. Individuals interested in ... skills and experience with diversity of clinical practice settings and across allied health ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... commencement of a master charity program created to assist the people of their ... working closely with nonprofit organizations and community leaders. Their hope is to bring ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... their ongoing community involvement program, introduces a new charity campaign to raise funds ... are now being accepted at https://donate.rmhc.org/ . , Ronald McDonald House (RMH) ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... ALEX , has taken Kickstarter by storm, crowdfunding over $60,000 – or 120% of its original ... to be delivered to backers starting May of this year. ... ... ... Created by NAMU, a team of biomedical engineers out of ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ROLLING MEADOWS , Ill. and INDIANAPOLIS ... major milestone for many young people, but for those ... demanding. Not only do these students juggle class schedules, ... challenges of living with type 1 diabetes. On top ... the first time. Diabetes Scholars Foundation ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Feb. 11, 2016  AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical ... Scholarship, designed to provide financial support for exceptional ... pursue higher education goals. Fifteen scholars will be ... school year. The AbbVie Rheumatology Scholarship is currently ... vice president, corporate social responsibility, brand and communications, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: