Norovirus Specimen Collection and Transport
Stool specimen is acceptable for PCR testing.
- IDOH shipping container 7A - contains Cary-Blair Media.
- Cold packs or dry ice.
- Shipping boxes/containers with appropriate shipping labels.
- Be sure to properly label the specimen container with at least the patient's name and date of collection.
- Check the expiration on the Cary-Blair container to ensure media is acceptable and will continue to be acceptable once received at the IDOH laboratory.
- After collection, all specimens should be stored at refrigerator temperature (2-8C) until shipped. If longer storage is required, place specimens in a -70C freezer (NEVER store, even temporarily, in a regular, -20C freezer - this temperature will kill virus). Additionally, avoid freeze-thaw cycles, which is also lethal to viruses.
- Complete a virology request form for each specimen with the following information:
- Name, birth date, race, and sex of patient
- Specimen type and date of specimen collection
- Date of illness onset
- Suspected disease agent
- Complete patient history, travel history, and other relevant information.
- Submitting facility information - facility name, address, phone number, fax number, contact name and email address (if available).
- Special Instructions for Specimen Collection
- Stool: Place 5-10 grams into Cary-Blair media container.
- Wrap the labeled specimen container with absorbent material and place into the inner metal container of the IDOH container 7A. Secure the metal screw cap firmly.
- Fold and wrap the completed requisition form around the outside of the metal container and place into the outer mailing tube. Secure lid firmly.
- Place the specimen(s) in a styrofoam container with sufficient cold packs to maintain 4C during shipment. If needed, dry ice can also be used if the specimen is frozen and/or transport time may be longer than 24 hours. If dry ice is used, do not form an airtight seal on the styrofoam container because dry ice releases carbon dioxide gas.
- Place the styrofoam container into a cardboard shipping box, close lid, and seal.
- Ship or transport by courier, the box compliant with DOT and IATA.