The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and Clinical Laboratory Safety in the United States. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Biosafety Level (BSL) and Select Agent Classification for EVD Specimens

Biosafety level
The CDC recommends that clinical laboratories work with EVD specimens in biosafety level 2 (BSL-2) facilities, based on the activities performed with these samples. This is in contrast to the CDC's BSL-4 facilities that work with large volumes of Ebola virus stocks that require proper containment. A BSL-2 laboratory can safely manage clinical EVD specimens.

Need for select agent classification
The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declares the list of select agents that affect humans. Although Ebola virus is a select agent on this list, specimens from patients who are under investigation for EVD and not considered select agents. Once a patient has confirmed EVD, the CDC will consult with the appropriate facility personnel and perform additional testing to determine if the specimens should be classified as select agents. The CDC will also work with the facility to determine the proper handling and reporting of these specimens.