Collection of Respiratory Samples for Flu A/B and RSV for Testing Using PCR

Specimens should be labelled according to the Trust’s Specimen Acceptance Policy

Sample Container:

A single swab used for throat then nose in either a: (i) yellow capped Roche PCR medium or (ii) a red capped COVIDSafe Virus Inactivation medium. (NOTE: blue or green capped viral tubes must not be used and will be rejected by the laboratory)

NOTE these need to be kept refrigerated between 2-8oC if there is a delay in transporting to the laboratory

Sampling Procedure:

  1. Tilt patient’s head back 70 degrees.
  2. While gently rotating the swab, insert swab less than one inch into nostril (until resistance is met at turbinates).
  3. Rotate the swab several times against nasal wall and repeat in other nostril using the same swab.
  4. Place tip of the swab into sterile viral transport media tube and cut off the applicator stick.


Last updated: August 30, 2022