For the detection of avian influenza A/H7N9 in patients with severe respiratory infection and travel to or residence in a country where avian influenza A/H7N9 has been detected. The influenza multiplex PCR test must be ordered with this test.
a) Throat / nasopharyngeal swabs : Use only Dacron / rayon-tipped dry swabs with plastic shafts or flocked swabs. Send dry in the swab sheath or in a dry sterile screw-capped container. Laryngeal swabs will be rejected. b) Sputum c) In addition, the following specimens from invasive procedures can be taken: - bronchoalveolar lavage - endotracheal tube aspirate. These specimens are to be sent in screw-capped sterile containers without adding viral transport media.
Paste red bioharzard alert stickers on clinical sample bags for SGH inpatients.
Refrigerate sample until transfer to laboratory. Do not freeze. Send sample at 2 - 8°C (with an ice-pack). Sample must reach laboratory within 24 hours after collection. Please contact Molecular Laboratory (63266920) before sending sample.
Reverse-transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (In-house Real-time)
Detected, Not detected or Inconclusive
Urgent SGH inpatient cases only: 6 hours (requires approval of microbiologist) Routine cases: Next working day Patient samples for urgent/stat testing must be from patients who meet MOH criteria of a suspect case. These must be ordered by an infectious diseases physician and discussed with a Molecular Laboratory microbiologist.
Mondays to Saturdays
In addition to standard precautions, strict barrier precautions are required in the collection of respiratory samples from patients suspected to be infected with avian influenza A/H7N9. This includes the use of personal protective equipment like gloves, gowns and apron, safety eyewear and powered air purifying respirators (PAPR) or N95 masks.