Are We There Yet? Laboratory Preparedness for Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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Title

Are We There Yet? Laboratory Preparedness for Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Subject

Description

We have asked 4 experts in this field to share their thoughts on contemporary challenges in laboratory preparedness for emerging infectious diseases.

Date Last Updated (Year-Month-Day)

2016-11-10

Citation

Burnham, C. D., J. H. Kwon, E. M. Burd, S. Campbell, P. C. Iwen and M. B. Miller (2017). "Are We There Yet? Laboratory Preparedness for Emerging Infectious Diseases." Clin Chem 63(4): 807-811.

Abstract

The West African Ebola virus epidemic of 2013–2016 was the most widespread epidemic of this disease in his- tory; it is estimated that this occurrence contributed to more than 11000 deaths. During the epidemic, health- care workers (HCW)8 (including laboratorians) were mobilized to care for individuals with suspected or con- firmed Ebola virus disease (EVD). However, at the height of the epidemic, guidance on appropriate safety measures for laboratory workers manipulating specimens from EVD patients was sparse. This highlighted the need for data and guidelines for laboratories testing specimens not only for patients with EVD, but for any emerging infectious disease. During the Ebola epidemic, questions were raised about the roles and responsibilities of laborato- ries in responding to highly infectious diseases, and the bur- den of ongoing readiness for rare events. As the outbreak decelerates, laboratorians must regroup, gather data, and prepare for future outbreaks. We have asked 4 experts in this field to share their thoughts on contemporary challenges in laboratory preparedness for emerging infectious diseases.

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