New Lab Matters: When the water comes, be prepared

New Lab Matters: When the water comes, be prepared | www.APHLblog.org

According to a study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the volume of rainfall from storms will rise by as much as 80% in North America by the end of the century. Not only do storms and floods threaten public health laboratory facilities, but receding floodwaters pose serious public health risks. As our feature article shows, the best weapon in a public health laboratory’s arsenal is preparation for inundation…from any source.

Here are just a few of this issue’s highlights:

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New Lab Matters: 100 Years of Influenza

New Lab Matters: 100 Years of Influenza | www.APHLblog.org

In 1918, no one even knew for sure that influenza was a viral disease; but then, the field of public health laboratory practice was still in its infancy. One hundred years later, public health is in a much better place, but critical preparedness gaps still persist. As our feature article shows, public health laboratories are working to keep their communities safe, through often difficult funding circumstances.

Here are just a few of this issue’s highlights:

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Key words: APHL, public health, laboratory, laboratory testing, public health laboratory, laboratory assessment, Measles, bioinformatics, parvo, PFAS, chemical testing

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New Lab Matters: Biomonitoring

New Lab Matters: Biomonitoring | www.APHLblog.org

In the 1970s, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed that gasoline lead was a major exposure for children and adults—a huge finding that would not have been known otherwise. Today NHANES provides a critical baseline for national background levels of exposure to other chemicals, but state efforts to test and document local, possibly elevated exposures to the new “alphabet soup” of PFOAs and PFOSs have been little funded and lagging. As our feature article shows, public health laboratories aim to change that through new technologies and the establishment of the new National Biomonitoring Network.

Here are just a few of this issue’s highlights:

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New Lab Matters: Sharing the value of public health laboratories

New Lab Matters: Sharing the value of public health laboratories | www.APHLblog.org

The need for a laboratory voice in budgetary discussions has become more urgent recently, and “human-to-human relationships” are as critical as technical knowledge. So how does a public health laboratory raise its profile within the community? By telling a good story…over and over again.

In the summer issue of Lab Matters, our feature article examines how laboratories are sharing their value, one interview, photo or outreach moment at a time.

Here are just a few of this issue’s highlights:

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New Lab Matters: Cannabis testing and public health laboratories

New Lab Matters: Cannabis testing and public health laboratories | www.APHLblog.org

As it stands today, cannabis is a Schedule I narcotic, on the same US government list as heroin, ecstasy and other illicit drugs deemed to have high abuse potential. For 28 states and the District of Columbia where cannabis is legal for medical and/or recreational adult use, this is a huge problem, especially for state agencies and laboratories tasked with regulatory oversight and public health surveillance of cannabis safety.

In the spring issue of Lab Matters, our feature article examines how public health laboratories are responding to this unique challenge.

Here are just a few of this issue’s highlights:

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New Lab Matters: making the case for a public health emergency fund

Public health threats are unpredictable. In 2015 and 2016, the emerging threats were infectious diseases, but the next threat could be a chemical spill, radiological event or natural disaster. Without a source of comprehensive funding for all potential threats, the health of the American public cannot be adequately protected.

In the winter issue of Lab Matters, our feature article examines the benefits and challenges of a permanent, sustained public health emergency fund.

Here are more highlights from this issue:

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New Lab Matters: Strengthening global health security

New Lab Matters: Strengthening global health security | www.APHLblog.org

The Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) aims to assure all participating countries implement the revised WHO International Health Regulations so they are able to prevent, detect and respond to disease outbreaks in near real-time. APHL is using the lessons learned in-country through PEPFAR programs to strengthen global health security initiatives involving public health laboratories around the world.

In the fall issue of Lab Matters, our feature article takes a look at the progress toward more robust laboratory infrastructures in three countries.

Here are just a few of this issue’s highlights:

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New Lab Matters: Where in the world has your food been?

New Lab Matters: Where in the world has your food been? | www.APHLblog.org

The World Bank values the global food and agriculture sector at around $4.8 trillion. In the United States alone, more than 90% of seafood offered for sale comes from abroad, as well as half the fresh fruit on the market, 20% of fresh vegetables and 4% of meat and poultry products. So how much coordination is there between producers, exporters, importers and retailers to ensure that the food we’re about to eat has been packaged and prepared according to regulatory standards? The complex answer involves food regulators, inspectors, health authorities and, of course, laboratory scientists.

The feature article of the spring edition of Lab Matters looks at the vast, complicated world of international food safety, as well as the invaluable contributions of the ever-evolving PulseNet network.

Here are just a few of this issue’s highlights:

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Lab Matters Winter Issue: AMP Up Your Biosafety System

Lab Matters Winter Issue: AMP Up Your Biosafety System | www.APHLblog.org

Your staff can cite the BMBL verbatim, they wear PPE as directed, they follow internal protocols and procedures precisely. But does this mean that your facility controls biosafety and biosecurity risks effectively? Not necessarily. According to leading experts, labs should follow a risk management process – AMP (assessment, mitigation, performance) – to improve laboratory effectiveness and worker safety.

Find out how you can amp up your biosafety system in the winter issue of Lab Matters.

Here are a few of this issue’s highlights:

Lab Matters Winter Issue: AMP Up Your Biosafety System | www.APHLblog.org