CDC recognizes Virginia lab for support after Hurricane Maria

RICHMOND, Va. – The Department of General Services had been recognized by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for helping test for tuberculosis (TB) in Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Maria hit.

The department’s Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services was the specific group of the Department of General Services to be honored and awarded.

According to a release from officials, DCLS, along with other Florida and Georgia state public health laboratories, were honored under the label of CDC U.S. TB Elimination Champion, for the diagnostic and confirmatory testing that the group did in efforts to help the Puerto Rico Department of Health.

The Puerto Rico Department of Health needed help completing TB test after facilities on the island were damaged during Hurricane Maria.

The Virginia lab helped PRDH from September 20, 2017 to February 2018, with around 230 specimens being tested.

“This recognition is special because it shows DCLS’ commitment to emergency preparedness and how our skilled scientists serve not only Virginians, but also our partners across the United States during a public health emergency,” DCLS Director Dr. Denise Toney said. “We are proud to join our public health partners, health care providers, and community organizations across the U.S. and around the globe in fighting for the elimination of TB.”

The Department of General Services lab is being honored just ahead of World TB Day on March 24.

According to a release from the Department of General Services in 2016, more than 9,200 TB cases were reported in the United State, 205 of which were in Virginia.