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Lab techs identify cultures to diagnose health conditions

Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 10:36 AM

            Senior Airman Austin Shrewsbury, 88th Diagnostics and Therapeutic Squadron medical laboratory technician, left, works with student, Airman 1st Class Taylor Altman, 88th Diagnostics and Therapeutic Squadron medical laboratory technician, to identify bacteria of patient cultures inside the microbiology laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base medical center June 30. The lab technicians identify patient cultures ranging from throat, stools and urine to other cultures such as wounds and blood to diagnose health conditions in patients. (U.S. Air Force photo/Michelle Gigante)
Senior Airman Austin Shrewsbury, 88th Diagnostics and Therapeutic Squadron medical laboratory technician, left, works with student, Airman 1st Class Taylor Altman, 88th Diagnostics and Therapeutic Squadron medical laboratory technician, to identify bacteria of patient cultures inside the microbiology laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base medical center June 30. The lab technicians identify patient cultures ranging from throat, stools and urine to other cultures such as wounds and blood to diagnose health conditions in patients. (U.S. Air Force photo/Michelle Gigante)

They cannot be seen by the naked eye, they live in us and around us – zillions of these amazingly successful organisms, playing crucial roles in our bodies’ health. While some microbes help, others are known best for their role in human diseases.

In the microbe defense arsenal at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Medical Center are the 88th Diagnostics and Therapeutic microbiology laboratory technicians working to identify and diagnose infections.

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Clinic physicians rely on the microbiology laboratory in the treatment of patients.

“They are very helpful in guiding antibiotic therapy and treating patients optimally,” said Maj. David Lindholm, an infectious disease physician in the 88th Medical Operations Squadron. “We are talking with microbiologists every day to hone in on what is causing infection.”

The 88 DTS microbiologist lab technicians perform diagnostic tests of patient samples and analyze cells underneath a microscope to determine what bacteria or microorganisms may be lurking within them.

“Initially you have to be able to recognize an organism’s characteristics on the agar plate and understand the conditions that it best grows in, to know the direction of testing to go,” said Erin Penney, 88 DTS microbiology technical supervisor.

The common types of microorganisms the team reviews range from throat, stools and urine to other cultures such as wounds and blood.

Once a swab sample has been taken from a patient it is sent to the lab to discern whether it is normal or pathogenic, which takes a great level of skill and practice.

“They give us insight on what’s going on, before we have the final results of the culture,” said Lindholm.

A microbial culture is a method of growing microbes in a predetermined medium under controlled laboratory settings.

While evaluating microbial organisms, the team uses its vast knowledge of the bacteria and other microbes normally found in the body to rule out if it is pathogenic.

The 88 DTS microbiology team has a new analyzer machine, which is proving instrumental to the microbiology lab team and saving time by helping identify the most effective treatment based on the offending microbe and area infected.

“For instance, there are certain drugs that can’t be turned out on certain body sites for certain microbes, and that’s because research will tell you that drug is not good in getting into that body site or maybe it’s not good at getting into that body site after that particular bacteria,” Penney said. “So, we want to make sure those types of drugs and microbe combinations are not relayed to the provider so they stay away from those drugs and they know which ones they should use for that particular site.”

Additionally, the 88 DTS microbiology lab team plays a role in the Department of Defense Flu Season Surveillance Program.

The specimen of any patient, whether admitted or seen in the emergency room, that has been diagnosed with the flu is submitted to the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine epidemiology lab.

The epidemiology lab studies that specimen to determine what strain of flu it is. The data is then sent to the Centers for Disease Control to do a routine surveillance of circulating flu strains for potential vaccine candidates.

With the upcoming flu season, it can be difficult for someone to tell if they have a bacterial or a viral infection.

“If you are feeling very ill, timing is of the essence,” said Penney. “Many folks will wait too long to see a physician, and the longer a bacteria is allowed to grow and develop, the more are released in the body.”

The efforts of the microbiology team at Wright-Patterson AFB can help. It works to get results in a timely manner.

“We know at the end of that, is a patient waiting to have the appropriate treatment, and I can’t say enough for the micro team; they are really passionate to find out what is causing someone to be ill and if they have questions, they are researching to find answers,” said Penney.

“My favorite part is I like seeing the results you can get; the more questions you ask, the more you learn,” said Shannon Heil, 88 DTS microbiology laboratory technician.

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Victim shot Friday in Springfield has died, coroner’s office confirms

Published: Friday, July 20, 2018 @ 12:55 AM
Updated: Friday, July 20, 2018 @ 10:12 AM

Springfield Police are investigating a shooting

UPDATE @ 10:10 a.m.: 

The victim of a shooting on Russell Avenue in Springfield early Friday morning has died, according to the Clark County Coroner’s Office.

LOCAL WEATHER: Strong to severe storms today; tornadoes, high winds, and hail possible

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Additional details, including the victim’s identity, were not available. 

>>Track the latest conditions with Live WHIO Doppler 7 Radar

An autopsy will be completed by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, according to officials. 

We’ll update this story as we learn more. 


Springfield police responded to a shooting on Russell Avenue early Friday morning.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Man, woman shot in leg in drive-by shooting in Dayton 

Crews responded to the 1000 block around 12:30 a.m., per initial reports.

The condition of the victim is unknown at this time.

Additional information is expected to be released later this morning.

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Greene County asks court to dismiss Xenia’s annexation case

Published: Friday, July 20, 2018 @ 7:37 AM

Greene County is asking the Ohio Second District Court of Appeals to dismiss the City of Xenia’s claims that county commissioners failed to meet their obligations in the city’s attempt to annex land connected to Central State University.

STAY CONNECTED: Greene County News on Facebook

Attorneys representing the county commission board last week filed a motion to dismiss and an answer to Xenia’s writ of mandamus, which asks the court to reverse the commission’s decision to deny the city’s petition to annex approximately 45 acres of land connected to CSU’s campus via the Ohio to Erie Trail.

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RELATED >>> Xenia takes Greene County to court in bid to annex Central State

The county’s filing argues that the commissioners fulfilled their obligation to review the city’s annexation petition. A mandamus seeks to compel a governmental board to “perform its duties ... not to control its discretion,” according to the county’s filing obtained by this news organization through the Greene County Clerk of Courts.

In September 2017, Xenia officials filed the first of three planned petitions for annexing CSU’s campus. In November, commissioners reviewed the merits of the petition during a public meeting and ultimately voted to deny the petition, stating in their resolution that four of the seven requirements spelled out in state law for Type II annexations were not met.

This news organization is working to gather and report more details from the court filings.

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Woman killed in Interstate 75 crash north of Dayton ID’d

Published: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 7:07 AM
Updated: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 10:05 AM

SCENE: Fatal crash on I-75 after van loses tire

UPDATE @ 2:51 p.m.:

The woman killed in the crash on I-75 near Needmore Road Thursday morning has been identified as Christina Tester, 53, of Huber Heights.


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A woman is dead after a tire came off a vehicle and crashed through the windshield of a her car traveling in the opposite direction on I-75.

The crash happened around 6:45 a.m. just north of Needmore Road. At 10 a.m., all lanes of the highway reopened after a lengthy closure of two southbound lanes. 

>> Dayton traffic from the WHIO traffic center

Troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol said a tire came off a Dodge Caravan traveling north on I-75. The tire came up over the median wall and hit a Chevy Express before striking the Mustang head-on on the driver’s side.

The driver of the Mustang, only identified as a 53-year-old woman, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her identity has not been released, pending notification of family. 

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation.

>> Good Sam ER to close at noon today


If you are already in the backup and are south of I-70 on southbound I-75, exit at Benchwood Road. 

From Benchwood, you can go west and take North Dixie Drive south, or head east, and pick up Webster Street. 

Both North Dixie and Webster meet up with Needmore Road where you can get back on I-75 south.  If you plan to head on Interstate 70 heading east from the Englewood and Clayton area, exit on Ohio 48 and take that south to Shoup Mill Road. 

Shoop Mill Road west turns into Needmore Road where you can re-enter I-75 south.  If your plan is west on I-70 from the Huber Heights area, exit on on Old Troy Pike and take that south to Needmore Road, where you can also rejoin the highway. 

Updates every six minutes or sooner on AM 1290 and News 95.7 WHIO.

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Strong to severe storms expected today; tornadoes, high winds, hail possible

Published: Friday, July 20, 2018 @ 4:22 AM
Updated: Friday, July 20, 2018 @ 10:22 AM

The chance for showers and thunderstorms arrive today with the possibility of strong storms in the evening.

The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center has placed much of the Miami Valley under an Moderate Risk for Severe Storms today.  The storm system responsible for the severe weather in Iowa, Missouri and Kansas will slowly shift into the Ohio Valley and then stall across the area through the weekend. There could be some flash flooding if the rain falls too hard, too fast, said Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell.

>>Strong storms spawn several tornadoes in Iowa

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>>Severe Weather: What is the difference between a slight or enhanced risk?


  • Strong to severe storms with wind, hail possible today
  • Humidity and storms arrive Friday
  • Rounds of showers, storms this weekend

Graphic by Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar



Today: It will be warm, breezy and muggy with several rounds of showers and thunderstorms, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Jesse Maag. A lull in activity is expected through midday with some breaks in clouds. 

Temperatures will climb into the lower 80s with increased humidity. 

Isolated showers and storms begin to develop during the afternoon with a more significant line coming through during the evening. 

Damaging wind gusts will be possible with the strongest storms late in the day.

Tonight: Showers will continue into the overnight hours with a few lingering thunderstorms possible. Humidity will remain high with a low around 67.

Graphic by Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar

Saturday: Showers and storms will continue with little to no severe threat. Highs will be in the upper 70s.

Sunday: Skies will remain mostly cloudy with a continued threat for passing showers and storms. Highs will still hold in the upper 70s.

>> LISTEN: Cloudy with a Chance of Podcast: Fire and Weather

Monday: Mostly cloudy skies will start the day with scattered showers and storms redeveloping in the afternoon. HIghs will be a bit warmer in the mid-80s.

>> Mars visible in the night sky 

Tuesday: Skies will be partly cloudy with warm temperatures rising into the mid-80s. There will be a slight chance for a pop-up shower or storm.

>> ISS will fly over Dayton: When to look 

>> WHIO Weather App

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