Australia’s Severe Flu Season Could be a Harbinger of Increased Influenza Cases in US and Canada Straining Already Burdened Clinical Laboratories

End of social distancing, masking, and other COVID-19 pandemic mitigations may lead to more severe flu-like infections in northern hemisphere, experts say Clinical laboratory professionals in the United States and Canada should prepare now for a severe flu season. That is according to infectious disease experts at Johns Hopkin’s Center for Health Security who predict the rise in influenza (flu) cases in Australia signals what will likely be higher than normal numbers of flu-like infections...

Scientists Estimate 73% of US Population May Be Immune to SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant

Clinical laboratory scientists should also know experts warn that ‘herd resistance’ is more likely than ‘herd immunity’ due to low vaccination rates in many parts of the world Scientists estimate 73% of the US population may be immune to the SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant. Whether the nation is approaching “herd immunity” against the disease, however, remains open to debate, the Associated Press (AP) reported. These estimates are relevant to medical laboratories doing serology tests for COVID-19,...

Academic Institutions Still Rely Heavily on COVID-19 Symptom-Checking Technology Despite Questions About Its Usefulness

A New York Times report suggests that frequent testing is still the best approach to controlling spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus Many colleges and universities go to great lengths to screen their students for signs of COVID-19 using technologies that include fever scanners, heart-rate monitors, and symptom-checking apps. But a recent report in The New York Times, titled, “Colleges That Require Virus-Screening Tech Struggle to Say Whether It Works,” suggests that academic institutions...

February COVID-19 Superspreader Event in Boston Confirmed by Use of Genetic Sequencing as Next-Gen Sequencing Is Put to Novel Uses, including in Clinical Laboratories

Gene sequencing is enabling disease tracking in new ways that include retesting laboratory specimens from before the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak to determine when it arrived in the US On February 26 of this year, nearly 200 executives and employees of neuroscience-biotechnology company Biogen gathered at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf hotel for their annual leadership conference. Unbeknownst to the attendees, by the end of the following day, dozens of them had been exposed to and become infected by...

Advances in Gene Sequencing Technology Enable Scientists to Respond to the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak in Record Time with Medical Lab Tests, Therapies

Scientist described the speed at which SARS-CoV-2’s full sequence of genetic material was made public as ‘unprecedented’ and medical labs are rushing to validate tests for this new disease In the United States, headlines scream about the lack of testing for the novel Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). News reporters ask daily why it is taking so long for the US healthcare system to begin testing large numbers of patients for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Yet, pathologists and...
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