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of Nebraskans through diagnostic laboratory
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  • Instruct patient to tilt head backwards, open mouth and say "ah."
  • A tongue depressor may be used to depress the tongue and facilitate visualization of pharynx.
  • Insert swab without touching lips, teeth, tongue, or cheeks.
  • Gently and quickly swab the tonsillar area side to side, making contact with inflamed or purulent sites.
  • Carefully withdraw swab without striking oral structures.
  • Immediately place swab in culture tube being careful not to touch the swab to the outside of the tube and transport at 2-8 °C.
    • For viral cultures place in viral transport media and transport at 2-8° C.

If you have questions about proper specimen collection, please call

NPHL Client Services at 402-559-2440 or toll free at 1-866-290-1406.