Monkeypox 2022: Biden administration boosts monkeypox testing with 142 confirmed cases in the US

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration has started shipping monkeypox tests to commercial labs, in an effort to speed diagnoses of suspected infections for the virus that has already infected at least 142 people in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is sending tests to labs including Aegis Science, Labcorp, Mayo Clinic Laboratories, Quest Diagnostics and Sonic Healthcare, which they say would dramatically increase the nation’s health system’s ability to test for monkeypox. Previously, testing was largely confined to public health labs, which combined had a capacity of around 8,000 tests per week.

“All Americans should be concerned about cases of monkeypox,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “Fortunately, we currently have the tools to combat and process cases in America. By dramatically increasing the number of testing sites across the country, we are making it possible for anyone who needs to be tested to do so.”

The disease initially causes flu-like symptoms before progressing to a rash on the face and body and is commonly found in parts of central and western Africa. But this year, 1,880 infections have been reported in more than 30 countries where monkeypox is not usually present.

Most of these cases have been found in Europe. As of June 21, the CDC has confirmed 142 monkeypox infections in the United States.

Monkeypox belongs to the same family of viruses as smallpox. Most people recover from monkeypox within weeks, but the disease is fatal for up to 1 in 10 people, according to the World Health Organization.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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