Mosquito Borne Disease Information for Laboratories

Physicians have been advised to report selected cases and write orders to have an aliquot of CSF (as mush as feasible) and serum (3ml) sent to the state biological laboratory for suspect cases of aseptic/viral meningitis, encephalitis, and Guillain - Barré syndrome as part of annual seasonal surveillance for West Nile Virus and other arboviral neuroinvasive disease.

What You Should Do

  • Refer to Clinical Specimen Submission Guidance for Arboviruses (WNV, SLE, EEE) and Zika virus infection.
  • Follow this additional guidance for West Nile Virus submissions:
    • If the clinical diagnosis is known to be encephalitis or Guillain-Barre syndrome, transport an aliquot of CSF (any cell count) and serum specimen to the State Laboratory according to established procedures.
    • If the patient is age 17 or older, send any CSF specimen with a cell count of more than 10 cells. Send a serum specimen with the CSF. If the diagnosis is known to the lab to be a non-infectious condition, such specimens do not need to be sent.
    • Use the standard State Laboratory Submission Form. Check the Arbovirus (WNV) box on the form.
    • Transport specimens on weekdays only. If you cannot guarantee the specimen will arrive at the State Laboratory by 4 PM on Friday, refrigerate and hold the specimens, on weekends or holidays, until the next business day. Call the State Laboratory if you have questions about transporting specimens on Friday.
    • Contact physicians when no order is received so that small volumes of CSF are prioritized and apportioned appropriately for testing.
    • Process tests that are ordered, other than arboviral tests, according to your laboratory’s normal procedure. If a test result in serum or CSF tests positive for WNV IgM as reported by a commercial or hospital laboratory and this result is known to you, report the result to Center for Acute Infectious Disease Epidemiology.
    • Any questions on this additional guidance can be directed to the State Serology Laboratory at 401-222-5591.