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How to collect a “Flu Near You” nasal swab

November 11, 2019


Thank you for helping us better
understand influenza in Minnesota. We recommend watching this entire video
start to finish before collecting your specimen or specimens. This is your “Flu
Near You” specimen collection box for collecting a
nasal specimen from yourself and/or household members who are experiencing
influenza-like illness, including fever and cough. Fever does not have to be
measured and someone reporting a fever or feeling feverish is sufficient. Before
you take your specimen there are a few things you will need: a thin permanent
marker or ballpoint pen, a cup, tape, and a pair of scissors is optional. Before you
open the box, wash your hands with soap and water. Remember, practice good
hand-washing and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Inside your box, you
should have the following items: three bags, each containing a package of swabs
and a transport tube; three specimen submission forms; one clear plastic bag;
one white bag; one pair of procedure gloves; and one procedure mask to use
when collecting on someone other than yourself. We’ve also included items with
the “Flu Near You” logo on them as a thank you for your participation. These are for
your own use and not necessary for the sample collection process. Open up the
bags containing the swabs and transport tube. If you are collecting only one
specimen, just open one bag. If you are collecting two specimens, open two bags
etc. Remember you should only collect specimens on individuals in the
household who are ill with influenza- like symptoms of fever and cough. You
will first fill out information on the forms and tube, before you collect the
specimen or specimens. You will write the information needed on the specimen
collection form and transport tube. For the collection form the areas you need
to complete have a star next to them. For each person you are collecting specimens
from, write his or her first and last name, date of birth and today’s
date, the day you are collecting the specimen on. Likewise for each person you
are collecting a specimen from, write his or her first and last name, date of birth
and today’s date, the day you are collecting the specimen on, directly onto
the tube. You do not need to answer other questions written on the tube. Take the
“Flu Near You” sticker that is stapled to the collection form and place it on the
specimen tube, below where you wrote your information. Be sure not to cover up any
of the information. You should now have matching stickers on both the collection
form and the tube. Make sure that the information written on the transport
tube and the specimen submission forms match. In addition, the “Flu Near You”
stickers should match. If they do not match, the specimen cannot be tested. You
are now ready to collect the specimen. Put on the gloves and loosen, but do not
remove, the red cap top of the transport tube. Place the tube upright in a place
where it will not spill, a cup works very well for this. If you are collecting a
nasal swab from another household member, put on the mask
included in the box. If you are collecting a nasal swab from yourself,
You do not need to put on the mask Remove one of the sterile swabs from the
packaging. You will only be using one of the two swabs. Take care that the tip of
the swab does not touch any surfaces before you take the nasal specimen.
Tilting the head back slightly, gently insert the swab about one inch into one
nostril. The swab should be parallel to the roof of the mouth, not upwards. The
entire swab tip should be in the nostril. You may feel some pressure, but this
should not hurt. Rotate the swab three times and remove from the nostril. Do not
swab both nostrils. Without delay, remove the cap of the transport tube and
place the swab into the tube, so the tip comes into contact with the
liquid at the bottom. Break the swab off at the break point, near the middle of the
stick, by bending it. Or you can cut the swab with a pair of scissors if you
prefer. Screw the cap back on tightly. Place the transport tube into the clear
plastic bag. If you are collecting more than one specimen, you can put all
transport tubes in the clear plastic bag together. Remove any excess air in the
bag by laying the bag flat on a table and pushing on the bag gently. Remove the
plastic backing off the tape at the top of the bag and seal. Place the clear
plastic bag with your samples into the white bag along with specimen collection
forms. Remember each transport tube needs to have its own specimen collection form
and the information on each tube needs to match the information on the specimen
collection form. Remove the plastic backing at the top of the white bag and
seal. Place the white bag inside the box. Close the box and seal with a piece of
tape. The green and white shipping label is prepaid, you do not need to add
postage. If you like, you may enter your return address but it is not necessary.
Your sample is now ready to mail to the Minnesota Department of Health. Please
mail it as soon as possible. You can drop it into a United States Postal Service
mailbox or take it to your local post office. Thank you for helping us learn
more about influenza in Minnesota. If you have questions about this project please
call, 651 201 5414 during business hours and ask
to speak to someone about “Flu Near You”. [Music]

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