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Plague  Lesson 4
 Laboratory Issues - Clinicians

Specimen Handling

Before submitting specimens for testing, you should contact your public health laboratory for the appropriate shipping and transport guidelines and to inform the agency regarding the case or incident.

  • Respiratory or sputum specimens
    • Sterile, screw-capped containers.
    • Room temperature.
    • If it is known that the materials will be transported within 2 to 24 hours after collection, then store the specimen between 2ºC-8ºC.
  • Blood cultures
    • Ship directly to the laboratory at room temperature.
    • Hold them at ambient temperature until they are placed onto the blood culture instrument or incubated.
    • Do not refrigerate.
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Lab blood culture.

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Page last reviewed February 12, 2007
Page last modified September 7, 2004

  • Content source: CDC Emergency Risk Communication Branch (ERCB), Division of Emergency Operations (DEO), National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID)
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