Viral Haemorrhagic Fever including Ebola Virus Disease

Testing Indications

See Submission and Collection notes

IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS Read before proceeding

If a viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF) 1 including Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is suspected, immediately

  • Inform your local/hospital infection prevention and control team, occupational health and safety team and an infectious diseases specialist.
  • Inform your local/hospital laboratory management and microbiologist.
  • Inform your local public health unit AND 
  • Following a clinical assessment of risk for EVD and/or other VHFs, consult with a PHO Laboratory Microbiologist available through the PHO Laboratory Customer Service Centre at 416-235-6556/1-877-604-4567, after-hours 416-605-3113  to request VHF including EVD testing (and concomitant malaria testing if required).
  • VHF testing including EVD testing requires the concurrence of a PHO Laboratory microbiologist.

Do not collect specimens for microbiological examination before consulting with a PHO Laboratory Microbiologist.

A wide range of viruses can cause VHF. Examples of such viruses include, but are not limited to Ebola, Marburg, Lassa, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, and Rift Valley Fever virus.

For more information on Ebola and other VHFs including testing recommendations, EVD/VHF testing and shipping, visit:

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

Test Requested Required Requisition(s) Specimen Type Minimum Volume Collection Kit

Viral Haemorrhagic Fever (VHF) testing1 including for Ebola virus disease

See Laboratory Guidance for Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers (VHFs)

Submission and Collection Notes


Do not collect specimens for microbiological examination before consulting with the PHO Laboratory Microbiologist. VHF testing, including for EVD, requires the concurrance of a  PHO Laboratory Microbiologist. If testing is agreed to, PHO Laboratory will then provide the submitter with further direction about next steps. See Laboratory Guidance for Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers (VHFs).

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Testing for EVD and other VHFs1 is performed STAT. The actual turnaround time during a specific response will be determined at the time.

As of April 29, 2019, Zaire ebolavirus PCR testing is performed at PHO Laboratory Toronto. All other VHF testing1 is performed at NML.


NML reports results to the submitter.

Test Methods

VHF testing is conducted using real-time PCRs targeting the individual pathogens being considered (e.g. Ebola, Marburg, Lassa). See Submission and Collection notes.

Additional Information

  1. This document does not provide information about dengue virus testing or yellow fever virus testing. See the Dengue Virus Test Information Sheet or Yellow Fever Virus Test Information Sheet.
contact lab

Contact Laboratory Customer Service

Laboratory Services

Updated 20 July 2020