LSU Health Shreveport begins distribution of COVID-19 Vaccine to Louisiana residents 70 years and older.

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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 led by Allen Organick, President.

More information on Testing Locations, Dates & Times 

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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.

Visit the EVT Lab to Learn More


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    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
    Cell: (318) 458-0166

    Public Relations Coordinator
    Phone: (318) 675-8789

    LSU Health Shreveport responds to COVID-19 Crisis

    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

    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

    “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 GE Ghali, DDS, MD, FACS, FRCS (Ed), chancellor of LSU Health Shreveport.

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

    KSLA12- “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 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
    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
    (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

    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

    “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

    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)
    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.

    Read More about LSUHS doctors travel to New Orleans to help fight COVID-19 (opens in new window/tab)
    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.

    Read More about LSU Health Shreveport Medical Team heads to NOLA (opens in new window/tab)
    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.

    Read More about LSU Health Shreveport ramping up efforts in COVID-19 fight (opens in new window/tab)
    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.

    Read More about Why are so many people testing positive in Caddo/Bossier? LSUHS Expert provides answers (opens in new window/tab)
    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 with any questions you may have.

    Read More about LSUHS Medical Students volunteer to help their fellow workers in medical care (opens in new window/tab)
    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.

    Read More about LSUHS is a leader in COVID-19 testing for Louisiana and beyond. (opens in new window/tab)
    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. (

    Read More about The alarming message of Louisiana's sharp rise in Covid-19 cases (opens in new window/tab)
    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.

    Read More about Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport expands adult ICU to combat COVID-19 (opens in new window/tab)
    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.

    Read More about LSU Health Shreveport continues mission to Teach, Heal and Discover
    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.”

    Read More about Coping with Coronavirus anxiety (opens in new window/tab)

    What is COVID-19?

    2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a virus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization (WHO) stated there is a high risk of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spreading to other countries around the world.

    Common signs of infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, particularly those in persons with underlying severe and chronic health issues, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. 

    When someone who has COVID-19 coughs or exhales they release droplets of infected fluid. Most of these droplets fall on nearby surfaces and objects - such as desks, tables or telephones. People could catch COVID-19 by touching contaminated surfaces or objects – and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. If they are standing within six feet of a person with COVID-19 they can catch it by breathing in droplets coughed out or exhaled by them. In other words, COVID-19 spreads in a similar way to flu.

    Most persons infected with COVID-19 experience mild symptoms and recover. However, older people and people of all ages with severe underlying health conditions — like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example — seem to be at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.

    Information on COVID-19 from the LSUHS Medical Library

    Image of Coronavirus

    News Updates on COVID-19