The Biden administration has begun shipping monkeypox virus tests to commercial laboratories.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said the tests were sent to five commercial laboratory companies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Companies include Aegis Science, LabCorp, Mayo Clinic Laboratories, Quest Diagnostics and Sonic Healthcare.
The department said the labs would “dramatically expand test capability across the country” and that health care providers could use them in early July.
Whoever is meeting on MonkeyPox, the Global Health Emergency is likely to come
Testing capacity will be increased throughout the month by five companies in support of officials’ awareness of the scope of Monkeypox outbreaks.
“All Americans should be concerned about monkeypox cases. Thankfully we now have the tools to fight and treat cases in America,” HHS Secretary Javier Beckerra said in a statement. “By dramatically expanding the number of testing locations across the country, we are making this possible for anyone who needs to be tested.”
Expansion is designed on capabilities already available in the Public Health Laboratory Response Network (LRN).
“CDC has partnered with LRN to increase the number of public health laboratories that can test more than 67 laboratories in 48 states and the number of weekly tests available in the LRN to 8,000 tests per week,” HHS said.
US Monkeypox: Where are the cases now?
According to CDC data, there are a total of 156 monkeypox and orthopox viruses in the US
Although the new monkeypox cases are mostly found in gay or bisexual men, experts warn that anyone could be at risk.
Individuals are usually infected with the monkeypox virus through the skin of infected animals or humans, or by contact with body fluids or contaminated materials.
Smallpox-related monkeypox has mild symptoms.
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Some of those symptoms include fever, chills, rash and pain before the lesions develop.