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Laboratory Influenza Page

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For this Influenza Season, the MDCH Bureau of Laboratories will be performing testing for all flu strains which include 2009 A H1, seasonal flu A types and Flu B. In addition, MDCH continues to highly encourage confirmatory influenza testing for cases of public health interest (ICU hospitalizations, severely ill pregnant women, patients with unusual and severe presentations, deaths) and for congregate setting outbreak/cluster investigations.  The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is reminding laboratories to please submit all rapid positive flu for confirmation.

Please note the approved specimen types for Flu PCR analysis have been expanded to include all of the following: 

  • Upper respiratory tract specimens such as nasopharyngeal swabs (NP), nasal swabs (NS), throat swabs (TS), dual NP/TS swabs, nasal washes (NW), and nasal aspirates (NA)
  • Lower respiratory tract specimens such as bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), bronchial washes (BW), tracheal aspirates (TA), sputum, lung tissue, and viral culture 
For the most current updates, see the latest  MIFluFocus report   For the latest information on the current influenza season, see the MDCH Influenza Page .  

 2014-2015 Influenza Season Report  

MDCH Laboratory Data  

The data shown here are the results obtained by the MDCH Virology Laboratory from specimens for targeted public health testing plus surveillance testing through the Michigan Sentinel Physician and Sentinel Laboratory Programs.  The Sentinel Physician Program consists of medical provider sites from a variety of geographic locations throughout Michigan enrolled in the sentinel surveillance program. These providers represent private practice for adult and pediatric patients, as well as urgent and emergency care facilities, nursing homes and university health services. Michigan is now conducting routine influenza surveillance year round.  Thus, MDCH requests submission of two to three specimens for influenza A and B viral culture four times during the year: early influenza season, when influenza virus is beginning to circulate; middle season, during the peak of influenza activity; late season, as influenza activity diminishes; and in the summer months. Participation in this program is voluntary.  

The influenza season runs from October through the end of September each year. 

Time   Inf B  2009 A, H1 Seasonal A, H3   A, Unsubtypable
Nov 16 - Nov 22 
Nov 9 - Nov 15  13 
Nov 2 - Nov 8  0 0 0
 Oct 26 - Nov 1
Oct 19 - Oct 25 
Oct 12 - Oct 18 
Oct 5 - Oct 11 
Sept 28 - Oct 4  2* 

                                          * Specimens collected in September, 2014 and tested in October, 2014.

  2014-2015 Guidance Documents

2014-2015 Influenza Test Algorithm - updated 10/13/2014
2014-2015 Influenza PCR Result Interpretation Table - updated 10/13/2014
2014-2015 Antiviral Resistance Information -  updated 10/13/201

2014-2015 Influenza Guidance for Laboratories - updated 10/13/2014
2014-2015 Influenza Guidance for Healthcare Providers - updated 10/24/2014
2014-2015 Influenza Guidance for Local Health Departments - updated 10/24/2014

  2014-2015 Northern Hemisphere Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Components

A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus
An A(H3N2) virus antigenically like the cell-propagated prototye virus A/Victoria/361/2011
B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus
Quadrivalent vaccines will also contain: B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus

  Antiviral Resistance Testing

2014-2015 Antiviral Resistance Information -  updated 10/13/2014

Test Request Form

   MDCH Test Request Form  - 4/27/2009 

Quick Guide for Filling Out the MDCH Test Request Form - updated 10/23/2013 

Specimen Collection and Shipping

Approved specimen types for influenza testing at the MDCH BOL: 

  • Upper respiratory tract specimens such as nasopharyngeal swabs (NP), nasal swabs (NS), throat swabs (TS), dual NP/TS swabs, nasal washes (NW), and nasal aspirates (NA)
  • Lower respiratory tract specimens such as bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), bronchial washes (BW), tracheal aspirates (TA), sputum (PCR only), lung tissue, and viral culture 

Quick Guide for Packaging and Shipping Influenza Specimens to BOL - updated 9/15/2009 

Quick Guide for Making Influenza Specimen Collection Kits - updated 8/26/2009 

MDCH BOL Flu Collection Guide  - updated 10/17/2013

Biological Substance, Category B Shipping Label - DCH-0800   - updated 12/21/2009 

CDC Influenza Advisories

 Influenza Resources    

  • MiFluFocus - A weekly influenza surveillence report that comes out Thursdays each week.
  • - A State of Michigan web site dedicated to influenza (flu).
  • A State of Michigan web site dedicated to emergency preparedness.
  • The National Influenza Preparedness web site.
  • Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines - These biosafety guidelines have been developed for Michigan laboratories handling and processing specimens associated with influenza.  
  • To expedite receipt of laboratory results, we urge all submitters to register for fax transmittal of reports. Fax agencies receive their reports the day testing is completed. This is especially important for those submitting specimens for H5 PCR testing. Non-fax agencies receive reports via the U.S. Post Office. This method will delay your report by several days.  Registration information.

National influenza surveillance summary information: 


 Past Influenza Season Data  

 Rev. 11/24/2014

Related Content
 •  MDCH BOL CAP Accreditation Certificate PDF icon
 •  Electronic Test Ordering and Results Delivery (ETOR) Manual PDF icon
 •  Explore Lab Science Program
 •  MDCH BOL CLIA Certificate PDF icon
 •  Bioterrorism Laboratory Preparedness
 •  Radiological Preparedness
 •  What's New?
 •  Chemical Terrorism Laboratory Preparedness
 •  Bureau of Laboratories Holiday Business Hours
 •  A-Z Test Listing
 •  Test Request Forms
 •  Inside the Bureau of Laboratories
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