CLP receives a lot of feedback regarding the content of the magazine. Here are two letters written in response to articles in our May 2005 issue.

In response to “One Flu Over …” (Editor’s Notebook):

Like many laboratorians, I was born in the mid-1940s and had Asian flu when the pandemic occurred. This was the only time I ever saw my father ill, and it took a toll on him that in later life manifested itself and caused his demise. It was no picnic, I can assure you.

The safety precautions that are being discussed are like Mrs. O’Leary’s cow in Chicago. The real problem passed when the lantern was kicked over. Taking the lantern into the barn was the problem, not the cow kicking over the lantern. The same holds true about H2N2. The real problem was sending it out. Nothing can be done to assure it has been disposed of properly.

The laboratory making the survey samples does not make it one day and ship it the next. There is adequate time to survey each virus for problems and then formulate a safe PT sample. I believe the CAP has done a great disservice to the laboratory community and has severely tarnished its image. It demands perfection in the assessment of laboratory methods and procedures, but obviously did not keep these standards in mind when obtaining PT specimens. With the shortages in laboratory staff, we do not need something like this to occur.

The finish of one flu over is “the cuckoo’s nest.”

Jack Keith
Great Falls Clinic LLP
Great Falls, Mont

In response to “Technology in Microbiology Labs Offers Speed, Accuracy, and Intelligence” (Industry Overview):

I just had a moment to read your informative article, “Technology in Microbiology Labs Offers Speed, Accuracy, and Intelligence,” in the May issue of CLP. This article was one of those well-written pieces that appeals both to the technical and the not-so-technical. Thank you!

Your readers probably know that drug-resistant diseases that were once in check are now starting to spread throughout various parts of the world. Your article does a good job of building awareness that some of these ferocious diseases like TB and 3DCR HIV could be in our own backyards. Fortunately, as you described in the article, there are technologies—some new, some not so new—that are available to fight off the spread of disease in this country.

Our company has focused over the past 40+ years on developing ways to speed and simplify lab-testing procedures so that diseases can be identified as quickly as possible, minimizing the chance of outbreaks. Our Fungi-Fluor Kit and our TB Fluorostain Kit quickly screen patients for fungal infections and mycobacteria. We agree that whenever a faster, more accurate diagnosis can be made, the quicker treatment can be started, which leads to better patient prognosis.

Debra A. Sesholtz
Polysciences Inc
Warrington, Penn