Lab Matters Spring 2022 - Page 7

FEATURE
By Jill Sakai , PhD , writer
Even as SARS-CoV-2 has taken the world by storm , other pathogens have continued their own inexorable spread and evolution in the past two years . For public health laboratories , finite capacity — staff time , equipment , reagents and other resources — has necessitated difficult decisions and creative solutions to keep abreast of both existing and emerging pathogens .
“ The pandemic brought a wholesale pivot of our healthcare infrastructure toward managing this novel and devastating disease ,” said Tim Southern , PhD , director of the South Dakota Public Health Laboratory . As clinic visits and non-essential care dropped , so did some laboratory testing demands . But fewer tests does not necessarily mean fewer infections . In some cases , he added , “ now we ’ re seeing that there was some collateral damage from being so COVID-focused .”
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Spring 2022 LAB MATTERS 5