US Navy ships now feature bird flu testing labs
Ships in the US Seventh Fleet, based in Japan, have been equipped
with the world's first on-board avian flu testing laboratories.
was approached by
the US Navy over a year ago to develop H5N1 testing facilities on board the
flagship USS Blue Ridge and the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk, according to
Rosemary Tan, chief executive of the company.
The Seventh Fleet has 50 vessels and 20,000 active personnel who conduct
missions in such bird
hot spots as Indonesia, Malaysia and other Asian countries.
Captain Charles Baxter
told The Straits Times that on-board testing capabilities were essential, and
that the DNA-based test kit was one of the most advanced in the market.
It requires only a small
blood sample from the test subject. Results are available in four hours,
compared with 10 days for other kits.
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