MT Public Health Laboratory Guidance Documents

2021-2022 Influenza Surveillance

Appropriate treatment of patients with respiratory illness depends on accurate and timely diagnosis. Early diagnosis of influenza can reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics and provide the option of using antiviral therapy.

Surveillance for the 2021-2022 influenza season officially begins on October 9, 2020. Receiving the first positive influenza specimens in the state is important in determining the circulating strains and prevalence. The Montana Public Health Laboratory (MTPHL) also shares these specimens with the Centers for Disease Control for further characterization and antiviral resistance testing.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we may have limited capacity and may not be able to perform all influenza testing in-house on a daily basis. MTPHL will remain focused on Covid testing and influenza surveillance, as long as resources are available.

For information about influenza activity in the United States during the influenza season, visit the Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report (FluView)

Zika Testing Guidance

Based on the current global epidemiology of dengue and Zika viruses, CDC recommends that state, territorial and local health departments and laboratories review and update their Zika virus testing practices. Routine serological testing for Zika virus is no longer recommended; further details are provided in the CDC's November 14, 2019 letter on Zika testing.

Norovirus Surveillance

Montana Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS) needs your help this season to improve our outbreak surveillance regarding Norovirus in Montana. Gastroenteritis outbreaks or any outbreaks that occur in congregate settings such as schools, nursing homes and child cares are reportable and provide a glimpse inside infectious diseases in Montana. DPHHS is asking our partners to do their part to improve our understanding of norovirus in Montana. 

Letter to laboratories regarding submission of specimens for Norovirus surveillance and outbreak investigation.

Aptima Multitest Swab Collection

We are encouraging lesion swabs for Herpes testing to be collected using the new Aptima Multitest Swab Specimen Collection Kits. Please distribute the information, found in the August 30, 2019 MT Laboratory Sentinel Newsletter, to your providers as needed. Copy of the product insert from Hologic.