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Ebola Virus Testing

Submitting Samples for Ebola Virus Testing through CDC

The Oregon State Public Health Laboratory (OSPHL) does not accept specimens for Ebola virus testing. Specimens must be submitted directly to a laboratory determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC will not accept specimens or assign a testing laboratory without prior consultation. The state health department does this consultation.

To obtain comprehensive information from the CDC, please visit the CDC's Interim Guidance for Ebola Virus Disease webpage.

Submitters must work with the OSPHL to complete required CDC forms prior to specimen submission.

Please follow these steps:

  1. Report suspect cases to the local health department immediately.
    Call 971-673-1111 to reach the state health department doctor on call.
  2. Collect, prepare, and store specimen(s) according to the CDC's Interim Guidance for Ebola Virus Disease.
  3. Complete the following two forms:

Do not send specimen(s) to the CDC until steps 4 and 5 are complete.

  1. Fax the OSPHL Short Form to the OSPHL Virology Department at 503-693-5605. Call the OSPHL at 503-693-4100 to notify us that this form was sent.
  2. The OSPHL will complete the official CDC Specimen Submission Form on your behalf, and fax or e-mail it to your facility. This form includes a barcode that the CDC requires.
  3. Submit your specimen(s) to the testing laboratory determined by the CDC with the official CDC Specimen Submission Form (with barcode) and the VSPB form. (Do not submit the OSPHL Short Form with the specimen.)

Responsibility for properly packaging specimens for transport lies with the organization packaging the specimen for transport.

For information about transporting substances potentially containing Ebola virus, you may visit the U.S. Department of Transportation's PHMSA Guidance for Transporting Ebola Contaminated Items.

In addition, the CDC's Interim Guidance Fact Sheet (pdf) provides a diagram for packaging specimens for Ebola virus testing.

Additional resources

Webinar: Ebola Virus Testing and Shipping Overview

Presented October 30, 2014, 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time

The complete recorded webinar is available here:

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