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Norovirus Testing

Norovirus Specimen Collection and Transport

Stool specimen is acceptable for PCR testing.

    1. IDOH shipping container 7A - contains Cary-Blair Media.
    2. Cold packs or dry ice.
    3. Shipping boxes/containers with appropriate shipping labels.
    1. Be sure to properly label the specimen container with at least the patient's name and date of collection.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Complete a virology request form for each specimen with the following information:
      1. Name, birth date, race, and sex of patient
      2. Specimen type and date of specimen collection
      3. Date of illness onset
      4. Suspected disease agent
      5. Complete patient history, travel history, and other relevant information.
      6. Submitting facility information - facility name, address, phone number, fax number, contact name and email address (if available).
    5. Special Instructions for Specimen Collection
      1. Stool: Place 5-10 grams into Cary-Blair media container.
  1. 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.
  2. Fold and wrap the completed requisition form around the outside of the metal container and place into the outer mailing tube. Secure lid firmly.
  3. 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.
  4. Place the styrofoam container into a cardboard shipping box, close lid, and seal.
  5. Ship or transport by courier, the box compliant with DOT and IATA.