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Influenza Testing

Public Health Laboratory's Influenza Testing Services


Image of a person wearing protective goggles and face mask examining a test specimenThe Oregon State Public Health Laboratory (OSPHL) performs virus isolation and PCR typing (to distinguish influenza A and B) and sub‐typing (for seasonal H1, 2009 H1N1 and H3) for:

  • ILINet Sentinel Providers;
  • Hospitalized ILI cases within the Portland Tri-county area; and
  • ILI cluster investigations.

To submit a specimen:

The submitter must complete Form 42 - Virology/Immunology Request Form. This form is included with each specimen collection kit and may be ordered separately from the OSPHL using the Stockroom Order Request Form.

  1. For specimens submitted by health care providers participating in Oregon’s Outpatient Influenza‐Like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet):

    • Check the MOL IA/IB QUAL: INFLUENZA SPECIMEN OR ISOLATE SUBMITTED FOR CDC/WHO SURVEILLANCE box under the Virus Isolation heading.
    • Write in 'ILINet' in the Study ID box on Form 42.

  2. For specimens from patients hospitalized with influenza-like illness in the Portland Tri-county area (patients who are residents of Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties):

    • Check the MOL IA/IB QUAL: INFLUENZA SPECIMEN OR ISOLATE SUBMITTED FOR CDC/WHO SURVEILLANCE box under the Virus Isolation heading.
    • Write in 'Hospitalized' in the Study ID box on Form 42.


    NOTE: We encourage submission of specimens even if rapid influenza tests are negative or have not been performed. However, results of this testing will not be available for 2-7 days after receipt of specimens at the laboratory; thus, clinical decision making about treatment or isolation precautions should not be based on these test results.

    Visit CDC’s Emerging Infections Program for more information.


  3. For specimens collected as part of investigations into clusters of respiratory illness in collaboration with Acute and Communicable Disease Program (ACDP) epidemiologists:

    • Check the MOL IA/IB QUAL: INFLUENZA SPECIMEN OR ISOLATE SUBMITTED FOR CDC/WHO SURVEILLANCE box under the Virus Isolation heading.
    • Write in the outbreak number assigned to the outbreak by ACDP in the 'Outbreak number' box.


    To report a cluster of respiratory illness, call 971-673-1111.

    County Health Departments: Order ILI Go Kits (pdf)

    See also: Submitting Specimens for ILI Outbreak Testing (pdf)


For specimens that don’t fall under one of these three categories, please contact the on call Epidemiologist at ACDP at 971-673-1111 to discuss other scenarios where testing at OSPHL might be warranted.


For more information or instructions on specimen submission:

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