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Fall 2001 Newsletter

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H. Leon Thacker, DVM, PhD


As this is written, the events of the WorldTradeCenter, the Pentagon and in a field in eastern Pennsylvania are yet unfolding.  Our understanding of the thoughts and feelings of individuals that led to these disasters are largely unavailable.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have lost friends and loved ones in the disasters.  We pray that our administrators and individuals in significant positions who must make hard and firm decisions in the coming days to address and direct our national responses make correct and well thought judgements.

   In relation to the enormity and consequences of war-like events, any words included here will pale by comparison, but as others have requested and suggested, our operations will continue and the importance of our efforts to the users of our services will not be diminished.  We have been reminded to be especially alert to diagnosing unusual or foreign diseases in our animal populations as the potential for terrorism to include bioterrorism tactics affecting our animals and food supplies has also not been diminished.

   The identification of West Nile virus in Indiana has had a definite effect on the way we perform necropsies on horses.  Even though the viremia of horses has been shown to have low levels of virus, we have initiated procedures to reduce and, if possible, eliminate exposure to the virus during suspect horses’ necropsies.  We should all remain aware that birds dying from WNV infection usually have high levels of virus in tissues as well as in body fluids and feces.  If we are asked to handle WNV birds, we should protect ourselves accordingly.

   We are excited about the recent availability of ADDL laboratory results on the web.  Our computer people have done an excellent job in installing, adjusting and realigning our new computer system.  Steve Vollmer, Tim Kechkaylo and Jennifer Hewitt, as well as Alan Bunning (who moved to a teaching position at Lafayette Ivy Tech a few months ago) are the individuals responsible for the success of our present computer system.

   We are also very pleased to have on board our newest faculty member, Dr. Ramesh Vemulapalli, as molecular immunologist on our faculty.  Dr. Vemulapalli will be responsible for development and evaluation of new tests to be offered by ADDL.  We look forward to his contributions to our test offerings and to serving Indiana animal owners.  We also look forward to welcoming Dr. Zheko Kounev to our faculty on October 15 of this year.  Dr. Kounev will serve as avian diagnostician and food safety specialist on our faculty.  He comes to us with impeccable past experience in both areas in industry and academic appointments.

Hope you have a great fall, stop in to see us if you are in our vicinity.


ADDL-West Lafayette:
406 S. University
West Lafayette, IN 47907
Phone: 765-494-7440
Fax: 765-494-9181

11367 E. Purdue Farm Road
Dubois, IN 47527
Phone: (812) 678-3401
Fax: (812) 678-3412

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