NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A commercial laboratory is helping to increase the national testing capacity for the monkeypox virus.
On Thursday, the CDC announced that Aegis Sciences is starting testing for monkeypox using CDC’s orthopoxvirus test. The testing will let the CDC expand its nationwide testing efforts for the virus.
“The ability of commercial laboratories to test for monkeypox is an important pillar in our comprehensive strategy to combat this disease,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, M.D., M.P.H. “This will not only increase testing capacity but also make it more convenient for providers and patients to access tests by using existing provider-to-laboratory networks.”
Aegis Sciences is one of five commercial laboratories that the Department of Health and Human Services announced in June would start testing for the virus. The laboratory will be able to perform up to 10,000 tests per week.
The department said the inclusion of the laboratories would facilitate increased testing, leverage established relationships between clinics, hospitals and commercial laboratories, and support our ability to better understand the scope of the current monkeypox outbreak.
“All Americans should be concerned about monkeypox cases. Thankfully we have right now the tools to fight and treat cases in America,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. “By dramatically expanding the number of testing locations throughout the country, we are making it possible for anyone who needs to be tested to do so.”
The CDC encourages anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox to talk to their healthcare provider about if they need to be tested, even if they don’t think they had contact with someone who has monkeypox.