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Texas A&M veterinary laboratory re-purposes sampling kits to use in testing for COVID-19

The re-purposed kits will provide 2,000 sampling kits for Texas hospitals.

More than 2,000 COVID-19 sampling kits will soon be available to hospitals across the state as the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab re-purposes sampling kits.

The viral sampling kits typically used on pigs, cows and chickens are being re-purposed to test humans for the new coronavirus using lab supplies already in stock at four labs across the state. 

According to a release from the A&M System, the re-purposed sampling kits will be shipped to hospitals in cities with a A&M system campus to meet the need for test kits including locations in Galveston, McAllen and the Texas A&M School of Law in Fort Worth.

From there, university presidents will determine where the greatest need for their community is. 

“We are assembling the supplies into sampling kits here in our College Station lab,” Dr. Bruce Akey, director of the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, said. “We know that 2,000 may not seem like much when there are 20-plus million Texans at risk that may need testing, but if you need to be tested and you can’t right now because they don’t have this kit then it’s a pretty big deal to you and your family. So we are doing what we can right now.”

The kits consist of a swab, a vial with transport media to preserve the vial, and a bad. According to the release, the kits are approved by the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for use in sampling humans for the new coronavirus. 

“We hope to get these sampling kits in the hospitals or clinics where they are most needed as soon as possible,” Akey said. “We are pulling out all the stops.”

Also on KCENTV.com

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