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Lab Testing

close up of laboratory test tubes filled with different colored samples

About the Public Health Laboratory

The Public Health Laboratory (Laboratory) works in conjunction with public health clinics, local hospitals and healthcare providers, and the departments of Epidemiology and Environmental Health.


I. The Laboratory supports Department services

The Laboratory provides testing services to the Imperial County Public Health Department to support on-going surveillance, prevention, education, and treatment programs, including but not limited to testing of specimens for:

  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Active tuberculosis disease
  • Latent tuberculosis infection
  • Evidence of high blood lead levels in children 
  • Clearance exams on food handlers, health care and day care workers with infectious diseases
  • Testing certain animals for rabies as requested by County Animal Control
  • Respiratory pathogen surveillance and testing
  • Regulation of Non-Diagnostic General Health Assessment Programs (e.g. cholesterol and glucose testing in shopping malls)
  • Support for investigation of suspected communicable disease outbreaks (e.g. food and water-borne disease outbreaks)
  • Support for investigation of suspected bioterrorism incidents

II. Support for Other County Departments

  • Sexually transmitted disease testing for juvenile detention facilities
  • Bacteriological testing of drinking water and wastewater for the Department of Environmental Health and other government agencies or private entities
  • Foodborne illness investigations for the Department of Environmental Health
  • Support for microbiological testing for the County Medical Examiner to assist in determining potential pathogenic causes of death

III. Services provided to hospitals, clinics, private providers and laboratories

  • Identification of enteric pathogens
  • Confirmatory testing for syphilis
  • Screening tests for evidence of high blood lead levels in children 
  • Primary isolation and identification of tuberculosis and non-tuberculosis mycobacteria and drug susceptibility testing
  • Screening of in-patients and employees for evidence of tuberculosis infection
  • Respiratory pathogen detection
  • Serve as reference center for consultation regarding unusual pathogens and potential biothreat agents

Approval and Certification

  • Approved as a Public Health Laboratory by the State of California
  • Certified as an Environmental Laboratory by the State of California

Laboratory Weblinks

Imperial County Public Health Laboratory
935 Broadway, El Centro, California 92243
For information regarding Laboratory services please call (442) 265-1427.