News from LSU Health Shreveport

Image of researchers working in Emerging Viral Threat (EVT) Lab
Shreveport, LA (March 25, 2020) – With the support of Governor John Bel Edwards and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), scientists at LSU Health Shreveport have established the Emerging Viral Threat (EVT) Laboratory to address the need for faster detection and processing of COVID-19 tests. The EVT Lab at LSUHS is the first in North Louisiana approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) to conduct and analyze tests to determine if an individual has COVID-19. The EVT Lab is currently in operation and fully staffed as of today, March 25.
 

The EVT Lab is different from any other laboratory in the state because it will not only be testing to determine if a patient is COVID-19 positive, but it will also be screening samples for other mutations of the virus. LSU Health Shreveport is also the only academic center in Louisiana with this capability. The lab provides the same offerings as CDC testing locations and is working collaboratively with the World Health Organization and CDC-sanctioned testing labs at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), the University of Washington in Seattle, and Yale University.

LSU Health Shreveport faculty and staff will be processing the tests and will be adhering to all personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines. Data obtained from testing samples will be used for further COVID-19 research to better determine how to combat the virus.

“LSU Health Shreveport is proud to have nationally and internationally renowned NIH funded virologists on our faculty. Creation of the Emerging Viral Threat (EVT) laboratory brings together numerous regional experts to provide urgently needed COVID-19 testing solutions while allowing our community and state to be prepared for future viral threats when they occur,” said Dr. Chris Kevil, Vice Chancellor for Research.

“I am grateful to all those involved in securing and granting the approvals required to stand up this needed lab so quickly. Our research leadership, faculty and staff have worked tirelessly to reach the milestone of processing COVID-19 tests starting today. Their efforts will play a key role in addressing the impact of this virus on the citizens of Louisiana,” stated G. E. Ghali, MD, DDS, FACS, FRCS (Ed), LSU Health Shreveport Chancellor.

Details on submitting COVID-19 tests to the LSUHS EVT Lab will be forthcoming and will reflect CDC protocol.

Additional updates on the EVT Lab will be shared as they become available on our website.

Learn more about this and other news stories regarding LSU Health Shreveport visit our News Section.

CONTACTS:

Lisa Babin
Executive Director of Public Affairs and Communications
Cell: 318-458-0166
Email: lbabi6@lsuhsc.edu

Megan Strecker
PR Coordinator
Cell: 770-595-3052
Email: mstrec@lsuhsc.edu

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