Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Guidelines for the collection of clinical specimens during field investigation of outbreaks

WHO/CDS/CSR/EDC/2000/4

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Guidelines for the collection of clinical specimens during field investigation of outbreaks

Introduction

Section One: Planning for specimen collection
      1.1 Define the possible causes of the outbreak
      1.2 Decide which clinical specimens are required to confirm the cause of the outbreak
      1.3 Select the laboratory for specimen testing

      1.4 Decide who will collect, process and transport the specimens
      1.5 Define the procedures necessary for specimen management

Section Two: Specimen collection and processing
     2.1 Safety and decontamination procedures
     2.2 Labelling and identification of specimens

Section Three: Storage, packaging, and transport of specimens
     3.1 Storage of specimens
     3.2 Packaging and labelling of specimens

     3.3 Transport of specimens

Annexes

   Annex 1: Specimens needed for laboratory confirmation of outbreaks
   Annex 2: Blood specimen collection
   Annex 3: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimen collection

   Annex 4: Eye specimen collection
   Annex 5: Faecal specimen collection
   Annex 6: Respiratory tract specimen collection

   Annex 7: Collecting specimens of skin lesions
   Annex 8: Urine specimen collection
   Annex 9: Post-mortem specimen collection
   Annex 10: First aid procedures after accidental exposure to infectious material
   Annex 11: Chemical disinfectants
   Annex 12: Constructing a field incinerator
   Annex 13: Basic triple packaging system and maintenance of transit temperature
   Annex 14: Example of case investigation, laboratory request, and line listing

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