10/19/2022: Lab Advisory: Guidance for Transport and Shipment of Specimens for Ebola Virus Testing

CDC's Laboratory Outreach Communication System (LOCS)

Audience: Clinical Laboratories

Level: Laboratory Advisory

Although the risk of a travel-associated Ebola case in the United States is low, CDC recommends that clinical laboratories review information on specimen collection and transport and transporting infectious substances safely for specimens suspected to contain Ebola virus.

CDC recommends that Ebola testing should only be ordered and performed for patients who meet the criteria for Persons Under Investigation for Ebola virus disease. Before collecting specimens for Ebola testing, clinical laboratories must first contact their state health department. State health departments must consult CDC to determine if testing for Ebola virus is warranted.

If testing is needed, CDC will provide guidance on specimen collection and shipping instructions to select public health laboratories that are members of the Laboratory Response Network.

The designated public health laboratory can work directly with the clinical laboratory on procedures or specimen collection and shipping. Please follow all requirements for packaging and shipping Category A infectious substances following the 49 CFR 173.196 “Category A Infectious Substances.

These specimens are not considered Select Agents because they have not been identified to contain Ebola virus, and the APHIS/CDC Form 2: Request to Transfer Select Agents and Toxins does not need to be completed.

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Thank you,

The Laboratory Outreach Communication System

Laboratory Outreach Communication System (LOCS) | Division of Laboratory Systems (DLS)

Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services (CSELS)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)