​​ Upper respiratory symptoms (sneezing, coughing and a stuffy nose) can be caused by many different viruses and bacteria. Recent news worthy examples include Entervirus-D68 and MERS-Coronavirus. APHL works with CDC and public health laboratories to ensure that our members are prepared to test for newly emerging respiratory pathogens. APHL also coordinates evaluations of new assays and surveillance approaches for respiratory infections in an effort to make the public health response to these pathogens as robust and efficient as possible.

Public Health Laboratory Testing Capacity

The amount and type of respiratory pathogen testing performed in public health laboratories is quite variable as described in our 2014 Survey Report.

APHL Members Respond to MERS-CoV

US public health laboratories are prepared to respond quickly to detect any cases of MERS-CoV ​in the US. In 2014 public health laboratories in Indiana and Florida detected the first cases in the US.


The 2015 Legionella outbreak in New York City made national headlines. It was the New York state public health laboratory, the Wadsworth Institute, that conducted the majority of the testing using next generation sequencing to link human illnesses to cooling towers.

Emerging Infectious Disease Protocols

APHL has compiled a list of protocols​ for members responding to emerging infectious diseases. 

​Packaging an​d Shipping Training Materials

Access APHL's toolkit of instructional materials adapted from APHL packaging and shipping trainings and WHO Packaging and Shipping of Infectious Substances training modules​.