We appreciate the vital support received from VIDRL, particularly Julian Druce, for an excellent speedy turnaround of HPeV testing and genotyping, which was not available in NSW at the time.
Results of PCR testing of specimens from patients from New South Wales received at the VIDRL, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, November 1, 2013-February 28, 2014 * Test Specimens, Patients, no.
To realize this pandemic plan, certain measures were undertaken at VIDRL. They were 1) assembly of enough nucleic acid extraction robotics and real-time PCR analyzers for >500 daily PCRs, 2) recruitment and training of 2 additional scientists who could work in the testing laboratory during a major outbreak, 3) planning for the temporary reassignment of scientific staff with appropriate skills from other laboratory areas during an outbreak, 4) cross-training of secretarial and clerical staff to enter patient and specimen data into the laboratory information system, 5) manning of the laboratory telephone switchboard by clerical staff, and 6) creation of a small stockpile of essential laboratory reagents.
Specimens were transported by courier to VIDRL from Melbourne hospitals, other laboratories, and general practitioners on behalf of Victorian health authorities.
As described elsewhere (2,3), a network of 80 general practitioners in metropolitan Melbourne and rural Victoria conducted influenza surveillance, coordinated by VIDRL, from May through October 2009.