Specimen Collection, Storage, and Shipment

Refer to this table when you collect, store, and ship specimens. Before sending specimens to CDC, please contact your state or local health department, then email soberste@cdc.gov and cburns@cdc.gov for additional information and to provide shipment details.

Specimen Type

Stool
Container.

Collect in sterile container, do not add transport medium

Specimen Type: Stool
Minimum Amount ≥1 gram
Storage Freeze at -20°C
Shipping Ship on dry ice
Comments Highest likelihood of virus isolation
Serum
Serum.

Collect in sterile container

Specimen Type: Serum
Minimum Amount 0.2 ml
Storage Freeze at -20°C
Shipping Ship on dry ice
Comments May be helpful in supporting diagnosis, but not usually as primary specimen
Respiratory – Nasopharyngeal/Oropharyngeal swab
Nasopharyngeal/Oropharyngeal swab.

Store in viral transport medium

Specimen Type: Respiratory – Nasopharyngeal/Oropharyngeal swab
Minimum Amount 1 mL
Storage Freeze at -20°C
Shipping Ship on dry ice
Cerebrospinal fluid
Cerebrospinal fluid.

Collect in sterile container, no medium required; do not dilute

Specimen Type: Cerebrospinal fluid
Minimum Amount 0.2 ml
Storage Freeze at -20°C
Shipping Ship on dry ice
Page last reviewed: October 25, 2019
Content source: Global Immunization