U.S. expands monkeypox testing capacity amid an increase in cases

By FactsWow Team

Posted on: 26 Jun, 2022

CDC statistics show that there have been 173 monkeypox cases reported in 25 states across the country as of Thursday, according the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

To address rising monkeypox cases, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plans to start testing monkeypox at five of the nation's largest commercial laboratories.

The CDC suggests that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up a high percentage of monkeypox cases. 'However, anyone who has been in close contact with a monkeypox patient is at risk,' it said.

There have been more than 3,200 confirmed cases of monkeypox in nearly 50 countries, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to consider classifying the ongoing outbreak as a 'global emergency'.

“There is ongoing person-to-person transmission and it is likely underestimated,' WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Thursday.

The US CDC is urging healthcare providers nationwide to be alert for patients with rash illnesses consistent with monkeypox, regardless of whether they are traveling to countries with monkeypox risk factors, gender, or sexual orientation.

According to the HHS, Aegis Science, Labcorp, Mayo Clinic Laboratories, Quest Diagnostics, and Sonic Healthcare have begun receiving monkeypox tests from the CDC to address increasing numbers of cases.

Healthcare providers will be able to use the testing services starting early July, and more tests will be announced throughout the month,' HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra announced in a statement.

A panel of experts has warned that the US should not repeat the mistakes made during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, when testing was delayed by supply constraints and regulatory hurdles, resulting in delays in responding to the crisis.

The health professionals also expressed concern that the country is not testing enough, making it impossible to determine how quickly monkeypox is spreading. Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with the monkeypox virus.

Monkeypox is rare and does not spread easily between people without close contact, according to the CDC. It mainly occurs in the west and central Africa and only rarely occurs elsewhere. The first US case was reported to the CDC on May 17.

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