Viral Testing



To identify infection caused by pathogenic viral organisms as evidenced by ocular, genitourinary, intestinal, or respiratory symptoms. Commonly identified are cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus, herpes simplex virus (HSV), H1N1 (swine flu), HIV, human papillomavirus (HPV), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)–associated coronavirus, varicella zoster virus.

Patient Preparation
There are no food, fluid, or activity restrictions unless by medical direction.

Normal Findings
(Method: Culture in special media, enzyme-linked immunoassays, chemiluminescent immunoassays, direct fluorescent antibody techniques, latex agglutination, immunoperoxidase, next-generation sequencing, multiplex sequencing, polymerase chain reaction [PCR] techniques). Negative or no virus isolated.

Critical Findings and Potential Interventions
Timely notification to the requesting health-care provider (HCP) of any critical findings and related symptoms is a role expectation of the professional nurse. A listing of these findings varies among facilities. Positive Covid-19, influenza, RSV, and varicella zoster findings should be reported immediately to the requesting HCP.

Specific infectious organisms are required to be reported to local, state, and national departments of health. Lists of specific organisms may vary among facilities. State health departments provide information regarding reportable diseases, which can be accessed at each state health department Web site. The CDC provides information regarding national notifiable diseases at

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