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ODH Rabies Specimen Shipping Carrier Update

Dear OEHA Members, 

The message below is being forwarded from a recent OPHCS Alert regarding rabies specimen shipments. If you have questions, please contact Dr. Singh at or by calling 614-466-0283. 


As of July 1, 2019, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) will provide shipping through Mercury Service for specimens being tested for rabies.  The ODH account with US Cargo will be inactivated as of June 30, 2019.  Shipments received from US Cargo after this date will be billed to the submitter. 

To establish service with Mercury Service, call 1-800-527-2187, Monday - Friday between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., or contact them at and use the account “RABIES.” This account is to be used to ship rabies specimens only.  The most updated ODH Laboratory rabies test submission form must be included with the shipment and can be found on our website under Form: ODH Laboratory Rabies Test Submission, HEA 2539 (Rev. 10/12). When contacting the company, inquire about the pick-up times for your area.  Mercury requests that you provide a contact (name and telephone number), address, and specific instructions on where to pick up specimens at your location.

Do not use this Mercury account to ship other specimens (e.g., enteric, newborn screening, clinical specimens).  Doing so will result in a charge to the sender.  Non-rabies specimens must be shipped in a separate package with the appropriate account number.  Account information can be found on our website at under IDCM Forms, ODH Lab Specimen Couriers.

Considerations when using Mercury Service:

  • Same day service is not routinely available, however, if submitted prior to the assigned pick-up time in your area, Mercury Service may be able to pick-up the same day.  Pick-up will depend on when a request is submitted.
  • Mercury Service will deliver the specimens to ODHL the morning after it was picked-up.
  • There is no weekend pick-up or delivery, only ship specimens Monday through Thursday.   
  • Regardless of when the specimen will be picked-up, make sure to keep the specimen cold (refrigerated) and do not freeze.

If you have any questions, please contact Mercury Service for clarification at 1-800-527-2187.  Please distribute this message to veterinary clinics in your jurisdiction that submit specimens for rabies testing.

For other questions regarding shipping, please contact the Ohio Department of Health Laboratory Customer Service Line at (888) ODH-LABS.  For general questions regarding rabies or animal bites, contact the Zoonotic Disease Program at (614) 752-1029.

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