The Biden administration has begun shipping monkeypox tests to commercial laboratories to expedite diagnoses of the virus, which has already infected at least 142 people in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is sending tests to labs such as Aegis Science, Labcorp, Mayo Clinic Laboratories, Quest Diagnostics, and Sonic Healthcare, which it claims will significantly increase the capacity of the nation’s health system to test for monkeypox. Previously, testing was mostly limited to public health labs, which had a combined capacity of about 8,000 tests per week.
“Monkeypox cases should concern all Americans.” “Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services, said in a statement. “Fortunately, we now have the tools to fight and treat cases in America. We are making it possible for anyone who needs to be tested to do so by dramatically increasing the number of testing locations across the country.”
The disease, which is common in parts of central and western Africa, begins with flu-like symptoms before progressing to a rash on the face and body. However, 1,880 infections have been reported this year in more than 30 countries where monkeypox is not commonly found.
The majority of those cases have been discovered in Europe. As of June 21, the CDC had confirmed 142 cases of monkeypox in the United States.
Monkeypox is a virus in the same family as smallpox. Most people recover from monkeypox within a few weeks, but the disease kills up to one in every ten people, according to the World Health Organization.
The Associated Press reserves all rights. Every right is reserved. This content may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in any way.