In an effort to expedite diagnosis for suspected infections of the virus that has already infected at least 142 individuals in the US, the Biden administration has begun distributing monkeypox testing to private laboratories.
In order to significantly increase the nation’s health system’s ability to test for monkeypox, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are sending tests to laboratories including Aegis Science, Labcorp, Mayo Clinic Laboratories, Quest Diagnostics, and Sonic Healthcare. Testing was previously mostly limited to public health laboratories, which can each do roughly 8,000 tests weekly.
“Monkeypox instances should alarm all Americans, “Xavier Becerra, the secretary of health and human services, said in a statement. “Thankfully, America currently has the resources necessary to combat and handle situations. We are enabling everyone who needs to get tested to do so by significantly increasing the number of testing facilities around the nation.
The illness, which is frequently found in portions of central and west Africa, begins with flu-like symptoms before developing into a rash on the face and body. However, 1,880 illnesses have been documented this year in more than 30 nations where monkeypox is uncommon.
Europe has seen the majority of those cases. The CDC has reported 142 cases of monkeypox in the US as of June 21.
Smallpox and monkeypox are members of the same viral family. Monkeypox usually clears up after a few weeks, but the World Health Organization reports that up to 1 in 10 persons who have the illness die.