CDC issues updated guidance for U.S. laboratory and other healthcare personnel handling and testing r outine clinical specimens when a concern for Ebola virus disease (EVD) has been raised by a physician.

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CDC has issued updated, more comprehensive guidance for U.S. clinical laboratories on recommended testing for the assessment and care of patients for whom Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a concern, while minimizing risk to laboratory personnel.

The updated guidance stresses that the consideration of EVD should not delay diagnostic assessments, laboratory testing, and appropriate patient care for other, more likely medical conditions while patients are undergoing evaluation to determine if they meet the criteria to be tested for EVD. The recommended approach is to conduct a limited menu of tests for evaluation of differential diagnoses other than EVD.

Lab personnel

New sections in the guidance include determination of when a patient meets the criteria for a person under investigation (PUI), risk assessment and mitigation strategies to minimize risk to laboratory personnel, recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff testing clinical specimens, considerations for point of care (POC) testing and core laboratory instrumentation, and limitations of equipment decontamination.

The updated guidance is available here: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/healthcare-us/laboratories/safe-specimen-management.html

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