Shipping Coronavirus

Coronavirus, also known by its virus name SARS-CoV-2 and its disease name COVID-19, is appearing more and more in our news and becoming a wider spread concern, creating questions about safety protocols when transporting specimens. Samples of blood or tissue may need to be shipped for diagnostic purposes, or to a lab studying the virus to better understand its characteristics. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently provided interim guidelines for laboratory biosafety handling and processing of specimens associated with the Coronavirus Disease 2019, stating that specimens from suspected or potential patient cases of COVID-19 should be shipped under regulations for UN 3373 Biological Substance, Category B.

UN 3373 Biological Substance, Category B

UN3373 Package Mark

COVID-19 isn’t the first infectious substance that clinical facilities have shipped using the UN 3373 Biological Substance, Category B designation. The US Department of Transportation have well established procedures in place to classify, describe, label, mark, and package patient specimens for proper and safe shipping. These regulations include requirements for triple packaging as well as adequate absorbent and cushioning materials to prevent breakage and leaking. There are also specific labeling and marking requirements for the outside of the package, including the UN3373 mark, the words “Biological Substance, Category B”, and the name and phone number of a responsible person who can answer questions in case of emergency. Additional steps are required if dry ice is used.

Triple Packaging Requirements for UN3373

If you need more information on shipping biological substances and infectious substances, Eduwhere provides two courses covering the proper shipping of Infectious Substances:

For more information on coronavirus safety, see the CDC webpage on COVID-19:

Shipping Infectious Substances

Ensuring the safe transportation of biological specimens and infectious substances is as important as ever. Eduwhere is pleased to be able to offer our Shipping Infectious Substances for IATA and DOT training course to medical personnel, lab techs, and anyone who might be involved at any stage in the shipping process for infectious substances or diagnostic specimens. Since these kinds of shipments can pose a significant safety concern to both people and the environment by their biological or infectious nature, it’s crucial to make sure the necessary precautions are taken to keep the materials safely contained and prevent unwanted exposure.

Our Shipping Infectious Substances (IATA & DOT) course is designed to meet the training requirements set out in 49 CFR 172 Subpart H and Section 1.5 of the IATA DGR, and covers topics for both air and ground shipments including selecting proper packaging, marks, and labels for dangerous goods shipments, and specifically addresses packaging requirements for shipments containing dry ice, often used to preserve infectious substances while in transit. The course addresses the four main training requirements set out by IATA and DOT: General awareness/familiarization training, Function-specific training, Safety training, and Security Awareness Training. Our training should function as a guide to assist you in safely preparing certain dangerous goods for transport.

We hope our Shipping Infectious Substances course can help you safely ship infectious substances and diagnostic specimens so you can keep doing what you do best.