LSU Health Shreveport has established the Emerging Viral Threat (EVT) Laboratory to address the need for faster detection and processing of COVID-19 tests.
Due to some forward thinking by Dr. G.E. Ghali, chancellor of LSU Health Shreveport, three years ago, northwest Louisiana might be in better shape to fight complications from COVID-19 than other areas of the state.
Dr. Martin Sapp, Chair of Microbiology at LSUHS, shares how the EVT Lab will help with current and future viral threats.
Some doctors from LSUHS have made the long haul to the front lines of the COVID-19 fight in Louisiana: New Orleans. Guided by Dr. Angela Cornelius, the seven residents come from various specialties but have the same mission: providing much-needed aid to an overwhelmed hospital.
LSU Health Shreveport has sent a medical strike team to assist staff at a hospital in the New Orleans area. The team consists of seven residents and emergency physician Dr. Angela Cornelius. They are currently working at West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero.
With so many questions surrounding COVID-19, Dr. G. E. Ghali, Chancellor LSU Health Shreveport explains the warning signs. He also discusses ventilators and the race for treatment and a vaccine.
“Certainly we’ve ramped up our testing,” Dr. G.E. Ghali, LSUHS Chancellor, said. “We’ve increased our capacity by 60 percent right off the bat of number of ICU beds that we have.” The increased testing is thanks to the new Emerging Viral Threat Lab that can provide results in less than 48 hours, freeing resources.
The Shreveport Times reached out to Professor Andrew Yurochko, Carroll Feist endowed chair of viral oncology and department vice-chair of microbiology and immunology, LSUHS, with the Emerging Viral Threat lab which began processing COVID-19 samples last Wednesday.
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Chancellor Ghali explains the medical school's growing role in the COVID 19 fight. "We already have a robust and incredibly well known virology department," he says, adding that their experience in SARS virus research laid the groundwork for this challenge. "What (our) lab allows us to do is test up to about 2,000 samples a day." Ghali says these samples are coming to LSUHS from all over the country.
Dr. Puja Nambiar, an infectious disease specialist at LSUHS, states that Shreveport experts have been able to work closely with the team at the Ochsner Health in New Orleans, adopting protocols and surge planning developed by experts a week ahead of the epidemic. Hopefully, that will help stem the tide. (CNN.com)
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