This study surveyed State public health laboratory officials to determine the extent to which they carried out the eight critical tasks for public health laboratory testing, as required by the Pandemic Influenza Guidance Supplement to the 2006 Cooperative Agreement, Phase II (the Guidance). Four of these critical tasks require coordination with clinical laboratories. All States reported that their public health laboratories met the first two critical tasks to conduct year-round influenza testing, and to detect and subtype influenza viruses (i.e., the ability to distinguish one influenza strain from another). Although not specifically required by the Guidance, all States reported public health laboratory capability to subtype H5 influenza.
Forty-four States reported that they had no clinical laboratories with the capability to perform H5 subtyping, and another 4 States reported that they did not know if clinical laboratories in their State had H5 influenza subtyping capability. The H5 strain of influenza normally infects birds, but has the potential to cause a human pandemic. No State reported that its public health laboratory met all of the six remaining critical tasks. For the tasks involving public health and clinical laboratories, States reported performing the required activities for public health laboratories to a greater extent than for clinical laboratories.
Report Title: Laboratory Preparedness for Pandemic Influenza http://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-04-07-00670.pdf
Agency Sponsor: OS-OIG, Office of Inspector General
Federal Contact: Erin Lemire, 202-205-9523
Performer: Staff; Office of Inspector General
PIC ID: 8993