Gene Sequencing of COVID-19 Outbreak in Minnesota School System Guides Public Health Officials in Slowing Spread of the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus

Data was used to create a transmission map that tracked the spread of infections among school athletes and helped public health officials determine where best to disrupt exposure Genomic sequencing played a major role in tracking a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in a Minnesota school system. Understanding how and where the coronavirus was spreading helped local officials implement restrictions to help keep the public safe. This episode demonstrates how clinical laboratories that can quickly sequence...

COVID-19 Pandemic Tied to Historically Low Influenza Cases, Leading to Uncertainty about Next Winter’s Flu Vaccine

Clinical laboratories may see increase in flu and COVID-19 specimen processing as people return to pre-pandemic social behaviors, experts predict While SARS-CoV-2 infections continue to ravage many parts of the world, influenza (flu) cases in North America have hit a historic low. As winter approached last year, infectious disease experts warned of a “twindemic” in which the COVID-19 outbreak would combine with seasonal influenza to overwhelm the healthcare system. But this did not happen, and...

UCSF and Stanford Researchers Investigate Why Some Infected with COVID-19 Are Asymptomatic, While Others Become Severely Ill or Die

Might clinical laboratories soon be called on to conduct mass testing to find people who show little or no symptoms even though they are infected with the coronavirus?     Clinical laboratory managers understand that as demand for COVID-19 testing exceeds supplies, what testing is done is generally performed on symptomatic patients. And yet, it is the asymptomatic individuals—those who are shown to be infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, but who experience no symptoms of...

Serological Antibody Tests a ‘Potential Game Changer’ and Next Phase in Efforts to Combat the Spread of COVID-19 That Give Clinical Laboratories an Essential Role

IVD Companies and medical laboratories are developing serological survey testing that will enable them to determine how widespread COVID-19 has become While medical laboratories gear up for testing to detect SARS-CoV-2—the novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 illness—efforts also are underway for expanded use of serological tests that can detect whether an individual’s immune systems has developed antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as well as serological surveys that...

When It Comes to Mining Healthcare Big Data, Including Medical Laboratory Test Results, Optum Labs Is the Company to Watch

Example is a big data-based study involving Optum and Mayo Clinic that indicates diabetes management can be too aggressive for some patients Mayo Clinic has tapped Optum Labs’ huge data set to fuel research suggesting diabetes management can be too aggressive among those diabetics who don’t have problems controlling their glucose level. Optum Labs’ data is also being mined to investigate dozens of research initiatives, including a major fight against Alzheimer’s disease. These projects provide...
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