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Screening in Regions with Few or no Reported Cases


Specimen Collection and Testing

If swine flu is suspected, clinicians should obtain a respiratory swab for novel influenza A (H1N1) virus testing and place it in a refrigerator (not a freezer). Once collected, the clinician should contact their state or local health department to facilitate transport and timely diagnosis at a state public health laboratory. State public health laboratories should perform subtype testing on all influenza A positive samples identified. Specimens that cannot be subtyped as human influenza A (H1N1) or (H3N2) should receive additional testing for detection of the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus if available or sent to CDC for identification. Please notify CDC of all pending shipments by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or if email is not available, by phone at 404-553-7724. Please include shipment tracking information.

These guidelines are not intended to restrict testing to persons meeting screening criteria, and additional clinical or epidemiologic information should be used in determining whether persons who do not meet these screening criteria should receive additional evaluation for possible novel influenza A (H1N1) virus infection.

Also see interim guidances available on the H1N1 (Swine Flu) website including:

  • Case definitions to be used for novel influenza A (H1N1) virus infection cases
  • Antiviral recommendations for patients with confirmed or suspected novel influenza A (H1N1) virus infection and close contacts
  • Infection control for care of persons with confirmed or suspected novel influenza A (H1N1) virus infection in a healthcare setting
  • Novel influenza A (H1N1) virus biosafety guidelines for laboratory workers
  • Specimen collection, processing, and testing



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