CDC Issues Guidance for Labs Managing and Testing Routine Clinical Specimens for Ebola

January 31, 2015

Due to a heightened concern in the United States about Ebola, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidance for clinical laboratories on testing needed for the assessment and care of patients for which Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a concern, while minimizing risk to laboratory personnel. This document updates and replaces the previously issued guidance, "How U.S. Laboratories Can Safely Manage Specimens from Persons Under Investigation for Ebola Virus Disease."

Clinicians should maintain a high index of suspicion and consult their local and state health departments and CDC when ill travelers from Ebola-affected countries are identified; it is important to recognize that the likelihood of EVD even among symptomatic travelers returning from these countries is very low. In the hospital setting, where policies and procedures should be in place to safeguard healthcare workers, consideration of Ebola should not delay diagnostic assessments, laboratory testing, and appropriate care for other, more likely medical conditions. This guidance is based on input received from numerous hospital and laboratory directors, infectious disease physicians, CDC Ebola response teams, and state health officials.

To read the document, "Guidance for U.S. Laboratories for Managing and Testing Routine Clinical Specimens When There is a Concern About Ebola Virus Disease," CLICK HERE.

For a summary of the key points in a slide show from ICT, CLICK HERE.