LSU Health Shreveport responds to COVID-19 Crisis   

    MEDIA CONTACTS:

    If you would like more information on any story seen here, efforts of LSU Health Shreveport during the COVID-19 pandemic, or are interested in interviewing one of our faculty members, please contact: 

    Lisa Babin, Executive Director 
    Public Affairs, Communications and Development
    Email: lbabi6@lsuhsc.edu

    Jazmin Jernigan
    Public Relations Coordinator
    Email: jjerni@lsuhsc.edu

    Center for Medical Education building draft image

    KEEL 101.7FM - The local medical community has stepped up on several fronts to battle COVID-19 on the front lines and in the lab. The Commission has approved the donation of as much as $1 million dollars for the Center for Excellence for Emerging Viral Threats (CEVT). This money will be used for a new building to expand the local medical school and for continued research.

    Read More about Caddo Parish Commission approves $1 million to LSU Health Shreveport
    woman receiving covid19 vaccine

    KTBS 3 - "Those who are hesitant, and I would say that's the vast majority ... those who are hesitant, than refusing ... will see very quickly that their colleagues have gotten the vaccine and no adverse side effects or long term complications or other issues," said Dr. John Vanchiere of LSU Health Shreveport.

    Read More about ArkLaTex divided on taking the coronavirus vaccine (opens in new window/tab)
    Image of nurse with vaccine vial from BBC News Russia

    BBC.com/Russia - Scientists from the United States and Argentina came to this conclusion after analyzing the neutralizing ability of the sera of those vaccinated with the Russian vaccine. But Sputnik still protects against a severe form of the disease, the authors emphasize.

    Read More about Sputnik may be less effective against South African strain of coronavirus
    Health officials focus on helping the homeless receive a COVID-19 vaccine

    KTBS 3 - It's been difficult for much of the homeless to get to sites like the Louisiana State Fairgrounds. That's why Dr. John Vanchiere, an infectious disease specialist with LSU Health Shreveport, looked at all options, even transportation to get the homeless population there.

    Read More about Health officials focus on helping the homeless receive a COVID-19 vaccine (opens in new window/tab)
    vaccine vials in distribution machine

    KSLA12 - LSUHS Dr. John Vanchiere said as a country we have a long history of producing vaccines and it’s normal for manufacturing issues to occur. The fact that it’s recognized and there’s a transparency to the reporting should give us even more trust.

    Read More about J & J quality control issue might impact people’s trust in COVID-19 vaccines (opens in new window/tab)
    Health experts turn to younger people as eligibility expands for COVID-19 vaccines

    KSLA 12 - “If you can minimize the spread in the group that’s spreading it the most, you, of course, dramatically drop the infection rate,” explained Dr. Andrew Yurochko, a professor in LSU Health Shreveport’s microbiology and immunology department.

    Read More about Health experts turn to younger people as eligibility expands for COVID-19 vaccines (opens in new window/tab)
    India Finds 'Double Mutant' COVID Variant. How Worried Should Americans Be?

    Newsweek - Virus samples showing up with multiple mutations is not uncommon, and two mutations is not a lot, according to Jeremy Kamil, a virologist at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport.

    Read More about India Finds 'Double Mutant' COVID Variant. How Worried Should Americans Be? (opens in new window/tab)
    Health expert speaks on vaccine apprehension, herd immunity

    “There are still folks who are still a little nervous that the vaccine was produced in a relatively short length of time think the important thing to note here is the technology is not new while the vaccine is the technology is something, we’ve been working on for decades,” Dr. John Vanchiere shares.

    Read More about Health expert speaks on vaccine apprehension, herd immunity (opens in new window/tab)
    Multitude of coronavirus variants found in the US — but the threat is unclear

    Nature.com - Ramped-up sequencing efforts are helping to identify mutations that might boost transmission or help a virus evade immune responses. For the scientists who have spent the past year poring over hundreds of thousands of coronavirus genomes, the United States has been an enigma.

    Read More about Multitude of coronavirus variants found in the US — but the threat is unclear (opens in new window/tab)
    ‘Now, it’s about trust:’ With more people able to get the COVID-19 vaccine

    “LSUHS is adjusting our strategy to accommodate more folks,” Dr. John Vanchiere said. “I would like to see longer lines and more people there getting vaccinated. And we have (the) capacity to vaccinate more than 2,000 or 2,500 people per day.”

    Read More about ‘Now, it’s about trust:’ With more people able to get the COVID-19 vaccine (opens in new window/tab)
    COVID Variant Hunter: Even Vaccinated Should Keep Wearing Masks

    NBC CT - LSU Health Shreveport Virologist Jeremy Kamil told NBC Connecticut Investigates that halting their spread will require other measures. Kamil was among a team of researchers that discovered seven new COVID-19 strains, known as "variants," aside from the variants first identified in the UK, South Africa, and Brazil. 

    Read More about COVID Variant Hunter: Even Vaccinated Should Keep Wearing Masks (opens in new window/tab)
    Dr. Michael Sewell - LSU Health Shreveport

    Louisiana Radio Network - LSU Health Shreveport Chief of Hospital Medicine Dr. Mike Sewell said the current case fatality rate is far lower than it was this time last year when, according to one study last year, it was as high as four percent in New Orleans. He estimated we’re closer to one in one thousand cases.

    Read More about Outcomes for COVID patients significantly better one year later (opens in new window/tab)
    LSU Health Shreveport holds Saturday and Tuesday vaccine clinics aimed at those working traditional hours

    To date, LSU Health Shreveport has administered over 48,000 vaccines as the first large-scale vaccine clinic in Louisiana. In order to accommodate those who work standard hours throughout the work week, and to maintain the health and wellbeing of our staff and volunteers, several changes are being made to the vaccination schedule moving forward. 

    Read More about LSU Health Shreveport holds Saturday and Tuesday vaccine clinics aimed at those working traditional hours
    The vaccines are working. That's why we shouldn't panic about variants.

    NBC News - "There are certain variants that are more transmissible, and we have strong data on that, but the thing people should take away from the variant story is just: Don't let your guard down," said Dr. Jeremy Kamil, an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport.

    Read More about The vaccines are working. That's why we shouldn't panic about variants. (opens in new window/tab)
    hand holding vaccine vial

    Four thousand three hundred (4300) doses of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will be available during the twelve-lane vaccination clinic to be held at the Brookshire Grocery Arena located at 2400 Century Link Center Drive from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Read More about LSU Health Shreveport and Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport partner to bring first large-scale vaccination clinic to Bossier City this weekend (opens in new window/tab)
    Large number of Americans don't want COVID vaccines right now

    KTBS3 - As more and more coronavirus vaccines becomes available, it's becoming clear that a lot of people don't want it. Whether it's reluctance, hesitancy or flat out refusal, a huge percentage of Americans are not interested in getting a COVID-19 vaccine, according to surveys.

    Read More about Large number of Americans don't want COVID vaccines right now (opens in new window/tab)
    So, you got your vaccine. What should you do now?

    KSLA12 - According to the CDC, medical experts are still working to learn whether or not the vaccine slows transmission rates, even if you don’t get sick. That’s why, for now, even after you get the vaccine, you are urged to continue behaviors that are proven to slow the spread of the virus.

    Read More about So, you got your vaccine. What should you do now? (opens in new window/tab)
    Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards press conference

    Baton Rouge Advocate - In Shreveport, LSUHS - in partnership with Christus Shreveport-Bossier Health and Willis Knight Health System - had been doing about 1,500 shots a day at a drive up community vaccination site. That was shut down Monday because of the storm, said LSUHS spokesperson Lisa Babin, and won’t resume until next week.

    Read More about Louisiana expanding coronavirus vaccine, distribution affected by winter storms (opens in new window/tab)
    Dr. G.E. Ghali to speak at National Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine

    We are proud to announce that on February 24, 2021, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EST Dr. G.E. Ghali, Chancellor for LSU Health Shreveport has been invited to be part of a panel of four people on one of the Town Hall Sessions on the topic of Building Bridges between Public Health and Healthcare Systems to Ensure Equitable Vaccination.

    Read More about Dr. G.E. Ghali to speak at National Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine
    LSUHS COVID-19 Community Vaccine Site Receives Visit & Thank You from Governor John Bel Edwards

    Governor John Bel Edwards visited Louisiana’s first mass community vaccine clinic to see firsthand just how well the community effort involving LSU Health Shreveport faculty, students and staff, Region 7 Office of Public Health, Louisiana National Guard, BPCC nursing students, CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System and Willis-Knighton Health System is working

    Read More about LSUHS COVID-19 Community Vaccine Site Receives Visit & Thank You from Governor John Bel Edwards
    Dr. John Vanchiere at media conference, photo by Scott Ferrell, Shreveport Times

    Shreveport Times - Dr. John Vanchiere, professor and chief of pediatric infectious diseases at LSUHS, talked about the benefits of getting the vaccine and its safety. “We know that early on when people get infected with COVID-19, most people have no symptoms at all and that is one of the very critical features of this type of infection compared to influenza."

    Read More about LSU Health sets the record straight on COVID-19 vaccine (opens in new window/tab)
    doctor walking down hall in hospital

    KSLA's Christian Piekos asked our local healthcare heroes to write a reflective letter to their 'pre-pandemic' selves highlighting the unthinkable challenges they'd face responding to the pandemic. (You have to be logged in to Facebook to watch the video.)

    Read More about Facebook: In Their Words: Reflections From the Frontlines of the Pandemic (opens in new window/tab)
    video clip image of LSU Health Shreveport building

    KTBS-3 - The Center of Excellence for Emerging Viral Threats at LSU Health Shreveport plays a big role in COVID-19 testing and community vaccinations. But another important role it plays involves the identification of COVID-19 mutations and the variants they cause.

    Read More about LSUHS's Center of Excellence for Emerging Viral Threats is a major player in the fight against COVID-19 (opens in new window/tab)
    Vaccines appear to be effective against COVID variants

    KTBS 3 - “The quicker that people get vaccinated, the less chance of any virus being around and given the opportunity to mutate,” Dr. Ghali, LSU Health Shreveport Chancellor explained. “The longer a virus is around, the longer they're going to be able to mutate. It's a natural course in the development of the virus.”

    Read More about Vaccines appear to be effective against COVID variants (opens in new window/tab)
    LSU Health Shreveport faculty address questions, concerns about current state of pandemic

    KSLA12 - According to professor and pediatrics chair Dr. Maroun Mhanna, the COVID-19 vaccine takes about one week to 10 days to become effective. Therefore, it is still possible to test positive for the virus, even after getting the vaccine. Also, in order to ensure maximum effectiveness, it is important to get both doses of the vaccine.

    Read More about LSU Health Shreveport faculty address questions, concerns about current state of pandemic (opens in new window/tab)
    ‘We’re in the dark’: The U.S. is way behind on testing for dangerous COVID variants

    Fortune.com - Even the type of sequencing done in the U.S. has been lacking, some experts say, with much of the effort focused on finding cases of the U.K. variant, rather than casting a wider net for any variant, including ones not previously identified, said Jeremy Kamil, a virologist at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport.

    Read More about ‘We’re in the dark’: The U.S. is way behind on testing for dangerous COVID variants (opens in new window/tab)
    scientist in lab

    Bloomberg.com - Even the type of sequencing done in the U.S. has been lacking, some experts say, with much of the effort focused on finding cases of the U.K. variant, rather than casting a wider net for any variant, including ones not previously identified, said Jeremy Kamil, a virologist at LSU Health Shreveport. “It’s the Wild West,” he said. “Every state, city, county is doing its own thing. It’s a bunch of random cats and no one is trying to herd them.”

    Read More about U.S. Falters in DNA Testing to Detect Dangerous Covid Mutations (opens in new window/tab)
    man holding a sticker that says I got the COVID-19 vaccine at LSU Health Shreveport

    This week LSU Health Shreveport took a historic step towards stopping the spread of the coronavirus. In addition to continuously testing for COVID-19, the Emerging Viral Threat Lab has now organized the distribution of the vaccine to individuals age 70 and up. On the first day of testing, over 1100 seniors were able to get the vaccine from the safety of their vehicles.

    Read More about COVID-19 Vaccinations at the Fairgrounds
    Pfizer Offers COVID-19 Shots to Health Workers Who Got Placebo

    Bloomberg - On Monday, John Vanchiere, the principal investigator for a trial site at LSU Health Shreveport, emailed 245 participants to let them know the COVID-19 vaccine trial would be slowly unblinded. By Wednesday afternoon, seven placebo recipients got their first shot, all of them health-care workers.

    Read More about Pfizer Offers COVID-19 Shots to Health Workers Who Got Placebo (opens in new window/tab)
    Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine vial

    KSLA 12 - Dr. Robert Rhoads, professor and emeritus chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at LSU Health Shreveport, developed key components of the mRNA over years of work. The vaccine uses messenger RNA, or mRNA, which essentially provides instructions to the body on how to fight the novel coronavirus.

    Read More about Technology developed at LSU Health Shreveport played key role in COVID-19 vaccine development
    COVID-19 vaccine arrives at Ochsner-LSU Health Shreveport

    KSLA 12 - “It is gratifying to see LSU Health Shreveport’s contributions to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine through licensing of a LSUHS patent to BioNTech for mRNA-stabilizing cap analogs and in serving as the only north Louisiana vaccine trial site. Additionally our numerous COVID-19 clinical trials are providing access to novel therapies reflecting the benefit of having an academic medical center in our community,” shared Dr. G.E. Ghali, Chancellor of LSU Health Shreveport.

    Read More about COVID-19 vaccine arrives at Ochsner-LSU Health Shreveport
    video clip image

    KSLA 12- “If the EVT Lab had not existed, quite frankly, I think we’d be in a much darker place here in the northern part of the state,” said Dr. Chris Kevil, vice chancellor of research and one of the leading minds behind creation of the lab. “The EVT Lab has been fundamental in our ability to monitor COVID infections in patients out in this community."

    Read More about Amid dark days of pandemic, LSU Health Shreveport’s Emerging Viral Threat Lab stands as a beacon of hope (opens in new window/tab)
    Patients can experience Chronic fatigue as aftereffect of COVID-19

    According to Sharon Dunn, the dean of LSU Health Shreveport’s School of Allied Health Professionals and the president of the American Physical Therapy Association, chronic fatigue is one of the aftereffects of COVID-19 on some patients.

    Read More about Patients can experience Chronic fatigue as aftereffect of COVID-19 (opens in new window/tab)
    LSU Health Shreveport leads Louisiana in COVID-19 genome sequencing

    MSN.com - The Emerging Viral Threat (EVT) Lab at LSU Health Shreveport has now sequenced a total 651 Louisiana SARS-CoV-2 virus genomes making it the largest contributor to date of genetic data on SARS-CoV-2 in the state. 

    Read More about LSU Health Shreveport leads Louisiana in COVID-19 genome sequencing (opens in new window/tab)
    LSU Health Shreveport Leads Louisiana  in COVID-19 VIRAL GENOME SEQUENCING

    The Emerging Viral Threat (EVT) Lab at LSU Health Shreveport has now sequenced a total 651 Louisiana SARS-CoV-2 virus genomes making them the largest contributor to date of genetic data on SARS-CoV-2 in the state. SARS-CoV-2, which is short for ‘Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2,’ is the virus that causes COVID-19, and viral genome sequencing is contributing to a worldwide effort to fight the ongoing pandemic.

    Read More about LSU Health Shreveport Leads Louisiana in COVID-19 VIRAL GENOME SEQUENCING
    LSU Health's Emerging Viral Threat Lab makes big impact in first 6 months

    KTBS 3 - Andrew Yurochko, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at LSUHS, shares, “When you think about total tests, 0.1% of the total tests of the entire country are done right here in Northwest Louisiana, where we’ve focused on our own citizens, not just in Shreveport or Caddo Parish, but in all of Region 7 which is Northwest Louisiana.”

    Read More about LSU Health's Emerging Viral Threat Lab makes big impact in first 6 months
    LSUHS COVID Surveillance Strike Team honored as a Patriot of the Pandemic

    The Bossier Chamber of Commerce honored “Patriots of the Pandemic” to recognize those in the community who played key roles in fighting back the pandemic. LSU Health Shreveport’s COVID Surveillance Strike Team received a special Eagle Award for testing coordination inside nursing homes.

    Read More about LSUHS COVID Surveillance Strike Team honored as a Patriot of the Pandemic
    Syringe. Pixabay

    LSUHS is expanding enrollment in the Pfizer-sponsored COVID-19 vaccine study for the next two weeks to include individuals ages 16-18 and those older than 85 years of age.  Those interested in participating in this important vaccine trial should sign up as quickly as possible.  

    Read More about Pfizer-sponsored COVID-19 Vaccine Study at LSUHS Expands Enrollment Ages
    COVID-19 testing administered in drive up testing. LSU Health Shreveport

    Health Matters host, Dr. Sanford Katz, was  joined by LSUHS's Andrew Yurochko, PhD, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Carroll Feist Chair of Viral Oncology and Dr. John Vanchiere, Chief of the Department of Pediatrics Infectious Diseases. to discuss testing, treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.

    Read More about Testing and Treatment for COVID-19 (opens in new window/tab)
    map of COVID19 cases on July 30, 2020

    The state's peak in April came mostly from widespread infections in New Orleans. Now the rest of Louisiana is surging, reports William Taylor Potter and Michael Stucka, Lafayette Daily Advertiser and USA TODAY.

    Read More about New COVID-19 surge in Louisiana worse than first, and unique as only state with two spikes (opens in new window/tab)
    NWLA hospitals actively managing COVID-19 are counting on the community’s help to reduce the spread

    The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in NW Louisiana has increased in recent weeks. Our teams are rising to this challenge with incredible compassion and professionalism; however, we need your help. 

    Read More about NWLA hospitals actively managing COVID-19 are counting on the community’s help to reduce the spread
    KTBS-3 ABC Shreveport story on more people under 30 are positive for COVID-19 than over 60

    There are more than 7,500 positive cases; more than those in the 60 to 69 age range, where there are close to 6,900 cases. LSUHS Chancellor Dr. G.E. Ghali said it could be due to more testing. But he says this age group is also less likely to practice social distancing.

    Read More about More people under 30 are positive for COVID-19 than those over 60 (opens in new window/tab)
    Check presentation from Mark Evans of the Committee of 100 to Dr. G.E. Ghali at LSU Health Shreveport

    "The funding provided by the Committee of One Hundred is essential for the EVT Lab to continue the costly endeavor of conducting antibody/serology testing, making testing kits, and processing of COVID-19 tests,” shared Dr. G.E. Ghali.

    Read More about S-B Committee of One Hundred, Inc. provides financial support for COVID-19 Testing
    LSU Health Shreveport one of five sites in world studying inhaled nitric oxide vs COVID-19

    KTBS 3 - “What makes this so exciting is not only are we on the forefront, we are on the forefront of the forefront,” said Dr. Keith Scott, the principal investigator for the trial at LSU Health Shreveport. This is not the first time inhaled nitric oxide has been used to fight a coronavirus. It was used in 2004 during the SARS outbreak.

    Read More about LSU Health Shreveport one of five sites in world studying inhaled nitric oxide vs COVID-19 (opens in new window/tab)
    (Photo: Henrietta Wildsmith/The Times)

    "As a result of a lot of sacrifice by our community, including importantly the business sector, the number of new cases, hospitalizations and patients needing (help) for COVID-19 is declining," shared Chancellor Ghali.

    Read More about LSUHS Chancellor joins business leaders to unveil website for reopening economy (opens in new window/tab)
    Photo courtesy of KSLA: ambulance at St. Mary Medical Center in Shreveport, LA

    St. Mary Medical Center will now be able to accommodate inpatient pediatric, labor and delivery, Neonatal ICU and Pediatric ICU patients. This move will allow the hospital system to add 100 more beds that’s part of their ICU expansion to mee the need for COVID-19 patients.

    Read More about Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport moving patients to St. Mary Medical Center Apr. 27
    EVT Lab testing equipment, photo arklatexhomepage.com

    We are very appreciative of this generous gift from Mr. Organick and Inferno Manufacturing Corp. It will be put to invaluable use in expanding the access to both viral and antibody testing, particularly in underserved areas of north Louisiana,” stated Chancellor Ghali.

    Read More about Private donation helps support LSU Health Shreveport’s mobile COVID-19 testing (opens in new window/tab)
    Feist-Weiller Partners in Wellness van repurposed for COVID-19 screenings photo

    Dr. Andrew Yurochko shares that in some areas of NW Louisiana, Feist-Weiller's "Partners in Wellness", while focused on mammography and other cancer screening, also provided the only health care available. Now, the program’s three vans offer testing for COVID-19.

    Read More about Feist-Weiller mammography vans repurposed to screen for COVID-19 in northwest Louisiana (opens in new window/tab)
    Coronavirus in Louisiana map image, courtesy of WGNO

    Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport will offer COVID-19 Antibody Testing to healthcare workers in North Louisiana. Beginning this week the test will be available to more than 3,700 employees, and 1,400 physicians and residents.

    Read More about Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport offers antibody testing to employees (opens in new window/tab)
    News story by WBRZ-2 with update on clinical trials

    WBRZ News - “We know a lot of these things work, we just don’t know when they work the best. And that’s what we’re trying to figure out really right now is when, how much and where. And that’s the confusing part of this whole disease. It’s nothing like we’ve ever seen, nothing like medicine has ever seen,” Dr. Keith Scott said.

    Read More about Researchers say more time, data will determine if nitric oxide therapy is effective against COVID-19 (opens in new window/tab)
    LSUHS Chancellor: It's a mistake to open too early, state should remain closed through May

    “I'm afraid that if these social mitigation factors are released too early that we could be seeing a second peak, which would be a really bad deal,” Ghali told The Ouachita Citizen in an interview.

    Read More about LSUHS Chancellor: It's a mistake to open too early, state should remain closed through May (opens in new window/tab)
    Image: National Guard member cleans hospital bed

    Multiple wings serving the needs of women and children are being moved from the Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport Medical Center to the St. Mary Medical Center to free up more ICU units to better treat COVID-19 patients.

    Read More about MEDIA CONFERENCE announces opening of St. Mary's Hospital as additional site for care of COVID-19 patients
    Close up of 3D Printed Nasal Swab

    As part of a national cooperative with the University of South Florida (USF) Health, Northwell Health, New York’s largest healthcare provider, and Formlabs, LSU Health Shreveport has obtained the printing files for a patented swab design, becoming the first in Louisiana to produce these patented 3D-printed swabs.

    Read More about LSUHS Faculty Producing 3D-Printed Nasal Swabs for COVID-19 Testing
    Dr. Robert Walter on KTBS-3

    Dr. Robert Walter, LSUHS lung specialist, said about a week after contracting the virus a patient’s respiratory system begins to weaken. Patients with severe symptoms require a breathing tube and ventilator.

    Read More about Lung specialist shares multiple ways to increase oxygen flow for COVID-19 patients (opens in new window/tab)
    Donating Plasma

    MyArkLaMiss.com - Scientists at LSU Health Shreveport continue to have a significant impact on the fight against COVID-19 in Louisiana with their latest achievement being able to offer serology testing to support the Convalescent Plasma Therapy clinical trial and help identify ideal plasma donors.

    Read More about LSU Health Shreveport Launches COVID-19 Antibody Testing Capability (opens in new window/tab)
    Press Conference announcing expanded rural mobile COVID-19 Testing

    Realizing the need for more testing in rural and other underserved locations in Northwest Louisiana, the Caddo Parish Commission voted to provide up to $175,000 to LSU Health Shreveport for the Clinic’s mobile unit. The allocation will assist with operations and testing. Expanded testing is north Louisiana will occur thanks to a $125,000 gift by Inferno Manufacturing Corporation.

    Read More about Press Conference announcing expanded rural mobile COVID-19 Testing
    image of scientist working in lab

    LSU Health Shreveport has become one of the leaders in the fight against COVID-19, through its healthcare services, testing and innovative research.The work likely will earn the medical facility a place in the history books as 2020 will undoubtedly be known as the year of the coronavirus. 

    Read More about LSU Health Shreveport takes lead role in COVID-19 fight (opens in new window/tab)
    LSU Health Shreveport has a van that will be used to go into rural/hot spots in the community to offer COVID-19 testing. Test

    Mayor Perkins said, “To combat this virus, we have to put our resources where they are most needed. This partnership between Caddo Parish and LSU Health Shreveport does just that; it provides rapid testing to medically underserved communities in our area.”

    Read More about LSUHS Mobile testing lab headed to underserved COVID-19 cluster neighborhoods (opens in new window/tab)
    Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards photo at press conference provided by The Advocate

    To begin opening the state back up, Edwards has said officials need far more diagnostic tests, along with serological tests that could tell whether people have immunity to the virus. 

    Read More about Governor Edwards says 'too many people moving around' and warns of possible coronavirus spike (opens in new window/tab)
    Louisiana Radio Network - photo of doctor with stethoscope

    “We will take their blood and run it through and siphon off the plasma, the plasma will have the antibodies and the antibodies will be administered to critically ill patients,” says LSUHS Chancellor Ghali.

    Read More about LSU Health Shreveport Recruiting Plasma Donors of Recovered COVID-19 Patients (opens in new window/tab)
    LSU Health Shreveport doctors begin Nitric Oxide trial for COVID-19

    “What we’re so excited about is this, it’s FDA approved. Almost any hospital of any size already has a ventilator, already has the gas and if this is something that does work it could start being applied immediately,” said LSUHS Professor, Keith Scott, MD.

    Read More about How Nitric Oxide can help coronavirus patients as clinical trial gets underway at LSUHS (opens in new window/tab)
    Caddo commissioner Steven Jackson photo

    Commissioner Jackson said, “This is particularly for individuals who are medically underserved or have access barriers. We want to go off data with the Health Unit to see where there is significant community spread and be aggressive with testing.”

    Read More about Caddo Commission will vote to allocate funding for COVID-19 testing at LSUHS EVT Lab (opens in new window/tab)
    KTAL News image of Louisiana data

    “Louisiana is doing a good job with testing. On a per capita basis Louisiana is number two in the total number of tests done in their state,” said Dr. G. E. Ghali. He says the new numbers show the efforts of the governor are working and if we continue social distancing, the predicted number of deaths will also go down.

    Read More about LSUHS Chancellor: Efforts underway are helping to slow coronavirus spread (opens in new window/tab)
    WWL News image of coronavirus

    Research from LSU Health Shreveport has shown that nitric oxide is a strong protector against tissue hypoxia. “It’s just really a raging phenomenon that occurs in the lung and if we can just calm that down a little bit and allow the body’s natural systems to come in an heal it, that’s the real goal,” said Scott.

    Read More about LSU Health Shreveport testing if inhaled nitric oxide can fight COVID-19 (opens in new window/tab)
    photo still from video on plasma transfusion to treat COVID-19

    The plasma transfusion is a clinical trial to see whether anitbodies that their immune systems created would help those who are battling a more advanced stage of the coronavirus. The trial is the first of its kind in Louisiana and the third of its kind in the U.S.

    Read More about LSU Health Shreveport first in state to test plasma treatment for coronavirus (opens in new window/tab)
    Staff working on preparation of Nitric Oxide clinical trial for COVID-19 at LSU Health Shreveport

    The LSU Health Shreveport Department of Medicine has joined up with the Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Alabama-Birmingham to enlist patients in a test study using inhaled nitric oxide to heal lungs damaged by COVID-19.

    Read More about LSU Health Shreveport offers inhaled nitric oxide clinical trial for COVID-19 patients (opens in new window/tab)
    Photos of Dr Keith Scott and Dr. Steven Conrad

    Keith Scott, MD, MSc, FCCM, Principal Investigator at LSU Health Shreveport for the nitric oxide clinical trial said, “We have tremendous confidence this therapy will alter the devastating effects of CoVID-19 but we must test it.”

    Read More about LSUHS among three in US engaged in COVID-19 clinical trial (opens in new window/tab)
    Lifeshare Blood Centers sign

    The FDA just released new guidelines allowing us to investigationally use convalescent plasma for patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 infections.  The only source of this convalescent plasma is donations from people that have recovered for at least two weeks from COVID-19 and have produced antibodies. 

    Read More about LSU Health Shreveport and LifeShare Blood Center provide first COVID-19 convalescent plasma therapy in Louisiana (opens in new window/tab)
    LSU Health Shreveport among the first in US to offer inhaled nitric oxide clinical trial for COVID-19 patients

    Research from LSU Health Shreveport has shown that nitric oxide is a strong protector against tissue hypoxia, which occurs during severe Covid-1 infection”, said Dr. Chris Kevil, Vice Chancellor for Research at LSU Health Shreveport.

    Read More about LSU Health Shreveport among the first in US to offer inhaled nitric oxide clinical trial for COVID-19 patients
    Lifeshare Blood Centers sign

    Officials say a critically ill COVID-19 patient at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport Academic Medical Center is being treated with the first convalescent plasma therapy in Louisiana, donated at LifeShare Blood Center just hours before the treatment began Saturday.

    Read More about First use of plasma therapy in Louisiana for coronavirus done by LSU Health Shreveport
    Margaret Place image

    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.

    Read More about Forward thinking by LSUHS Chancellor will benefit area in fight against COVID-19 (opens in new window/tab)
    LSUHS doctors go to New Orleans to assist with COVID-19 on KTBS News

    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.

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    Dr. Angela Cornelius in protective gear during COVID-19 crisis in New Orleans

    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.

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    Dr. Ghali video about COVID-19 efforts on KTAL News

    “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.

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    Dr. Yurochko in the lab

    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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    medical student video on how she is helping others during covid-19

    If you are a frontline medical worker in the Shreveport-Bossier area, and could use some additional help, click here to take a survey. Once completed, you’ll be connected with a volunteer who will be able to assist you. You are also able to email olsugroceries@gmail.com with any questions you may have.

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    Dr. Chris Kevil presenting at LSUHS Research Celebration, Feb. 25, 2020

    Dr. Kevil, in reference to the EVT lab says, "We're ramping up to get to get from about 1,000 to a peak of 2,000 tests a day. Right now we're in the process of working out...a system (between) the clinical laboratory, the hospital and the community so that we can provide the turnaround time of the test of 48 hours, working to get it down to 24 hours."

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    image of scientist working in lab

    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.

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    The alarming message of Louisiana's sharp rise in Covid-19 cases

    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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    Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport

    Working together with Governor John Bel Edwards and following the guidance of state public officials that we improve surge capacity for COVID-19 patients, we are rapidly modifying our St. Mary Medical Center, located in the Highland neighborhood of Shreveport.

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    Academic Medical Labs, like LSU Health Shreveport, have Stepped up to Fill a Void

    As the coronavirus spreads, researchers at academic medical institutions have jumped into the containment battle by developing and deploying tests to detect the virus. They hope to help fill a nationwide shortage of such tests. (AAMC.org)

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    LSU Health Shreveport announces creation of COVID-19 testing laboratory

    Dr. G. E. Ghali, chancellor of LSUHS, said during a Wednesday press conference that, “Around the 17 of March, I approached the governor and said we have a few road blocks to this and we need your help. Without any questions he jumped right in and created an executive order and by March 25, today, the lab is up and running.”

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    image of scientist working in lab

    During a virtual press conference Wednesday morning, Chancellor G. E. Ghali said the facts around Louisiana’s confirmed cases are “really scary” because studies show the state has the fastest growth rate of confirmed cases in the entire world, third in per capita, and the steepness parallels that of Italy and Spain.

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    image of state of louisiana with coronavirus

    Top scientists at LSUHS have created the Emerging Viral Threat Lab in a remarkable amount of time to take on the global pandemic. The (EVT) Lab can initially test 50 samples per day and expects to tests in the hundreds by end of the week and into next week. The test results are determined with 24 to 48 hours. 

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    Scientists working in lab

    Having an academic medical center is a “gem” touted frequently throughout north Louisiana and beyond. While many in the nation are fearful of having appropriate access to testing and quality care during the Covid-19 pandemic, thanks to LSU Health Shreveport, north Louisiana is infinitely better positioned than most communities to face Covid-19.

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    Dr. Michelle Yetman talks about coping with anxiety during coronavirus

    Dr. Yetman says, “We’re very lucky here in Shreveport – we don’t have the population density that other cities have… you can still get out, you can still walk. Exercise both for children and adults is very important for maintaining your physical health as well as your mental health.”

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