Mayo Clinic Laboratories is now able to test for monkeypox using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) orthopoxvirus test kit, which can be used to detect most non-pox-related orthopoxviruses, including including monkeypox
The news comes shortly after the Department of Health and Human Services named Mayo Clinic labs a ‘crucial resource’ in the fight against access to monkeypox testing in communities across the country. . Mayo Clinic Laboratories is one of five commercial laboratory companies chosen to offer testing for monkeypox.
“The ability of commercial labs to test for monkeypox is an important pillar of our overall strategy to fight this disease,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH. “This will not only increase testing capacity, but also make it more convenient for providers and patients to access testing using existing provider-laboratory networks.”
The lab is capable of performing up to 10,000 tests per week and can accept samples from anywhere in the country.
The current outbreak of monkeypox, a rare viral disease that is transmitted through contact with lesions, respiratory droplets and contaminated equipment, is causing concern – cases are being detected in countries that do not typically have monkeypox. The disease is historically linked to living or traveling in West and Central Africa through contact with animals, where it originated.
As of this week, ten cases of monkeypox have been reported in Minnesota, according to the health department. The first case was reported in the Twin Cities on June 27.
Mayo Clinic’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology is experienced in testing for rare and infectious diseases. Patients can access testing through any healthcare professional who uses Mayo Clinic labs as a referral lab.
Anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox should see their healthcare professional for further testing, even if they don’t think they’ve been exposed, according to the CDC.