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Public labs group plays key role in coronavirus response

APHL works with CDC, medical supply companies, state health agencies to accelerate efforts; NPA combats false product claims


Jan. 31, 2020
By William Ehart

With the death toll from coronavirus exceeding 200 in China and cases growing rapidly, a variety of associations are responding, most trying to get accurate information and advice out to members and the public.

But the Association of Public Health Laboratories is one of those at the epicenter of the medical community’s response. Longtime Executive Director Scott Becker said his heart rate is up.

The group represents state health authorities as well as medical supply companies that make such things as testing tools. It also works closely with the Centers for Disease Control, and its members send data on flu cases to CDC.

“We really become that network interface between the nation’s public health laboratories and the respective federal agency and or laboratory, in this case, CDC,” Becker said. “So we are embedded in the CDC incident response as a liaison.”