Q: Can I bring in a water sample to be tested?

A: No. While the Kauai District Health Laboratory is fully certified for the microbiological analysis of regulatory drinking water for total coliforms and E. coli using the SM 9223 Colisure Presence/Absence (vessel) method, we do not accept/process special samples without the express permission of the Safe Drinking Water Branch on Oahu. Our role is that of compliance testing for private water systems who’s sampling requirements are based on population served as outlined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Total Coliform Rule.

If you have concerns regarding your water quality, you should first contact the water system who services your home and discuss what options are available to you. Should you choose to pursue special testing, visit the Safe Drinking Water Branch, to request information and/or to view their listing of certified drinking water laboratories.

Q: Do you folks do TB testing?

A: Yes. Tuberculosis testing for the public is offered at the Public Health Nursing office located on the bottom level of the two-story building here at the Lihue Health Center (3040 Umi St. Lihue, HI 96766). For more information regarding the testing please call (808)241-3387.

Q: I think something I ate recently made me sick, can I bring in a sample for you to test?

A: No, and the reason is twofold: first, for results of any food testing to be deemed valid, specific parameters regarding the collection and transport of the sample must be strictly adhered to; secondly, KDHO detection and enumeration testing for Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus in suspected food borne illness must be initiated through our Disease Investigation Unit.

If you are feeling unwell, contact your primary care provider.

If, after consulting your primary care provider, you believe your illness may be attributed to something you ate at a food establishment, or purchased in a grocery store or market, please contact the KDHO Disease Investigation Unit at (808) 241-3563.

Q: Why is it taking so long to get results for my Leptospirosis test? My doctor took my sample weeks ago.

A: Our laboratory performs two tests for Leptospirosis. When a physician submits a patient sample for culture, any discovery of spirochetes indicative of Leptospira sp. is immediately reported to both the requesting physician and our Epidemiologist. Leptospires have been observed as much as 5 weeks out, therefore KDHO will report a negative culture officially at 6 weeks.

The Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT) is a confirmatory test. Patient samples accrued by the State Laboratories Division on Oahu from physicians statewide are sent to us each month. Due to the nature of the test, which is antibody-centric, the ideal scenario is to receive two samples from the patient taken about two weeks apart. One during the acute phase of the illness, and one during the convalescent phase. A fourfold increase in antibody titer within the two phases is considered diagnostic for a current infection, whereas a single sample can only denote exposure at some point in the individual’s life. Therefore, time must be allowed for the physicians to submit both samples. Once our lab is notified that patient samples will be shipped, preparations begin to ensure a timely processing of the samples upon receipt. Turn-around time for results to be reported once the samples have been received is usually 24-48 hours but may take up to two weeks.

Q: Do you guys test for STDs?

A: Yes, the Kauai District Health Office has an STD/AIDS Prevention program. For information regarding HIV testing, STD testing and Hepatitis B & C testing, please contact our STD/AIDS Prevention Epidemiologist at (808)821-2741 or (808)212-4523.