Louisiana health department opens public health laboratory
"Our ability to respond to public health threats is directly affected by the ability of our staff to test samples quickly and efficiently," DHH Secretary Kathy Kleibert said. "The new public health lab site allows us to better identify food outbreaks, test infectious disease samples and (address) any number of other public health concerns."
To keep Louisiana safe for residents, the new laboratory will be the primary center for daily testing of a multitude of issues, including safe drinking water, metabolic disorders in newborn babies, and genetic screening.
"In addition to the new facility we are also fortunate to be able to upgrade much of our analytical instrumentation," Louisiana Office of Public Health Laboratories Director Stephen Martin said. "This will allow us to improve our accuracy and efficiency and reduce the time needed to generate test data. We have also added new technologies to our laboratories that will increase the capabilities of what we can provide".
Assistant secretary for public health JT Lane noted the center's ability to address multiple health concerns in a single day, ranging from drinking water system samples, seafood samples, various human specimens or even unidentified substances that arrive in the state lab for analysis.
“The knowledge our experts produce is critical in both government officials and health care providers in making protective and life-saving decisions for the public," Lane said. "Along with our environmental health experts, infectious disease investigators and clinical experts, our lab scientists help us solve complex public health concerns from new disease outbreaks to the causes of food contamination.”