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Iowa State University’s Vet Lab Helps Speed Up Testing for COVID-19

Coronavirus

AMES, Iowa — In response to fast spread of COVID-19 in the state, Iowa State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is helping increase the capacity for testing at the State Hygienic Lab at the University of Iowa.

“It’s important because one of the important methods of helping to control any type of outbreak, whether we are talking about an outbreak in animals or a disease outbreak in humans, is being able to rapidly detect who is infected and who is not and then manage those infected and non-infected people or animals,” Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Dan Groom said.

To do this, Iowa State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is sending different machines along with the experts that know how to run them.

They are sending robotic extraction machines that pull the DNA out of the samples that are being tested. They are also sending machines that are able to detect the DNA of the virus in the samples.

The College of Veterinary Medicine said these machines can do a lot of samples rapidly throughout the course of the day.

Their mission is to step up in any type of health emergency and a good example of this was the avian influenza in 2015.

“The diagnostic lab was there and ready to help test poultry primarily for the disease so that we could manage that disease outbreak in poultry. And so we’re ready to serve society in so many way, whether it’s animal health problems or public health problems, that’s part of our mission here at the College of Veterinary Medicine and that’s part of our mission at Iowa State University,” Groom said.

The University has also inventoried all their Personal Protective Equipment as well as their ventilators so they can be used when they are needed.

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