Iowa State lab among first to confirm H1N1 outside CDC
The laboratory successfully completed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) verification process to conduct confirmatory testing this week.
"The Hygienic Laboratory staff worked swiftly throughout this outbreak to process all H1N1 tests, while at the same time completing the verification process required to conduct confirmatory testing in Iowa rather than sending specimens to CDC," says Hygienic Laboratory Director Christopher Atchison.
Initially testing for H1N1 was conducted at the laboratory and then sent on to CDC for confirmation. The CDC performed all confirmatory testing for all state public health laboratories until it provided kits that allowed these laboratories to conduct their own confirmatory testing.
This testing, by the laboratory in Iowa and at other labs as they complete the CDC's verification process, will provide faster results to state and local public health departments, allowing them to accurately track H1N1 and implement public health interventions.
The Iowa laboratory, based in Coralville, has received more than 600 specimens to test for H1N1 since April 27. Of those tests, 35 were identified as probable positives for H1N1.