Changes to NVRL molecular testing service for respiratory viruses during the peak of influenza activity

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We wish to advise you of a change to NVRL testing policy for respiratory viruses which will be implemented from Wednesday 26th February 2014. 

During week 8 2014, all indicators of influenza activity (ILI rate and laboratory positivity rate) increased significantly with only sporadic detections of RSV and other respiratory viruses. The laboratory demand for influenza testing has increased accordingly. In order to provide the best clinical service to NVRL users a decision has been taken to limit molecular  testing  for respiratory viruses to  influenza A and B (including subtyping) in the short term. This will ensure efficient and timely reporting of clinically relevant results.  This change in testing policy will be reviewed on a weekly basis.

 Should testing for other respiratory pathogens be required in individual patient cases, please contact the clinical staff of the NVRL  on 01 7164401.   Please note the specimen of choice for investigation of respiratory illness in hospitalised patients is a secretory specimen such as a nasospharyngeal aspirate (NPA), sputum or bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL).