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The Delaware Division of Public Health is issuing this advisory to update providers on the submission of specimens to the Division of Public Health Laboratory (DPHL) for influenza virus testing.
Providers are reminded that testing does not need to be done on all patients with symptoms of influenza at this time, since it has been determined that all three influenza strains (A/H1N1, A/H3N2 and B) are circulating in Delaware. In addition, the circulating strains and vaccine composition match. Antiviral resistance patterns have not changed significantly from the previous season and the 2012-2013 guidance on the use of influenza antiviral drugs remains the same.
The Delaware Division of Public Health receives influenza test kits through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and is limited to screening 1500 specimens per calendar year. Given the extremely high volume of influenza cases so early in the season, we are asking our partners to limit specimen submission at this time to ten specimens a week per site.
At this time, providers are asked to make decisions regarding submission of specimens based on the clinical criteria outlined by the CDC, available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/diagnosis/testing_algorithm.htm
Factors which are key considerations under these criteria include:
For more information contact the DPH Laboratory at (302) 223-1520.
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