Department of Public Health Using New Laboratory Testing Criteria



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                    Connecticut Department of Public Health

June 1, 2009                                                    Contact: William Gerrish

                                                                         (860) 509-7270



HartfordThe Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) today confirmed 5 new cases of novel H1N1 influenza (swine flu) among Connecticut residents.  Positive results for H1N1 flu were confirmed today at the department’s Public Health Laboratory for residents of the following municipalities: Andover (1), Bolton (2), Ridgefield (1), and Waterbury (1).


DPH has issued new guidance to health care providers and local health directors for H1N1 influenza testing, based on the sustained community transmission of the novel H1N1 flu outbreak.  DPH is currently not recommending H1N1 influenza testing in outpatients with febrile respiratory illnesses for surveillance purposes.  If testing for novel H1N1 influenza is clinically indicated for certain outpatients, health care providers can request testing through a commercial laboratory. 


Starting today, the DPH Laboratory will be accepting specimens only from hospitalized patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) and specimens from non-hospitalized patients associated with an ILI outbreak or cluster in an institutional setting (e.g. school or long term care facility).  An outbreak is defined as ILI in 3 or more persons with onset of illness within 7 days that attend the same school or reside in the same facility. 


Regular updates of H1N1 testing results from the DPH Laboratory will be posted daily to by 3 pm.  DPH will no longer issue press releases to announce routine H1N1 test results from the laboratory. 


DPH continues to ask residents to take precautions to prevent getting the flu or spreading it by staying home from work or school if they are sick, washing their hands frequently, and coughing or sneezing into their sleeve or a tissue.


The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state.  To contact the department, please visit its website at or call (860) 509-7270.