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CDC guidance of evaluating and testing for Coronavirus

Official health update of what to do to Medical officers distributed by CDC – centres of Disease control and prevention 

Recognising the systems

  1. fever/ short of breath – and sending them for testing – 
  2. Someone who has been in close contact with a positively identified carrier

How to test for SARS-CoV-2. 

  • collect and test upper respiratory tract specimens (nasopharyngeal AND oropharyngeal swabs).  
  • test lower respiratory tract specimens, if available. 
  • For patients who develop a productive cough, sputum should be collected and tested for SARS-CoV-2. The induction of sputum is not recommended. 
  • For patients for whom it is clinically indicated (e.g., those receiving invasive mechanical ventilation), a lower respiratory tract aspirate or bronchoalveolar lavage sample should be collected and tested as a lower respiratory tract specimen. 
  • Specimens should be collected as soon as possible once a PUI is identified, regardless of the time of symptom onset. 

How to handle specimens 

See Interim Guidelines for Collecting, Handling, and Testing Clinical Specimens from Patients Under Investigation (PUIs) for COVID-19 (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/lab/guidelines-clinical-specimens.html) and Biosafety FAQs for handling and processing specimens from suspected cases and PUIs (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/biosafety-faqs.html).


Posted on March 1, 2020

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