Specimen Collection and Handling
The following are general guidelines for specimen collection and handling during respiratory disease outbreaks when the pathogen is unknown. Staff involved in collecting and shipping specimens should consult the state or local public health laboratory for specific guidance. CDC staff is available to provide assistance to public health staff who are interested in laboratory testing through CDC. Please see Request CDC Assistance page for more details.
- Specimen Collection Guidelines pdf icon[8 pages]
This document provides specimen collection guidelines for healthcare professionals and public health staff during an unknown respiratory disease outbreak.
- Specimen Labeling, Storage, and Handling pdf icon[7 pages]This document provides guidelines for storage and handling of clinical specimens during respiratory disease outbreaks when the pathogen is unknown.
- Submitting Specimens to CDC
CDC requires a completed Specimen Submission Form 50.34 for all specimens shipped to CDC.
Note: Obtain approval from CDC prior to shipping.