ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Commercial laboratory Aegis Sciences announced on Thursday that it would begin testing for monkeypox. It is the second laboratory to announce testing this week, after Quest Diagnostics announced testing on Wednesday.
Aegis Sciences will start testing for monkeypox effective Thursday, using the CDC-developed orthopoxvirus test. The test detects many non-smallpox forms of orthopoxviruses, of which monkeypox is one.
“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.”
Testing will take place at Aegis’ labs in Nashville, Tennessee. The center will be able to accept test specimens from anywhere in the U.S. The center is expected to be able to process up to 10,000 tests per week. It, along with Laboratory Response Network, Labcorp, Mayo Clinic Laboratories and Quest Diagnostics are expected to process a total of 70,000 tests per week by the end of July.
Monkeypox was discovered in New York State last week. Although Saratoga County has not yet seen cases, the county has amassed its own vaccine supply, and is ready to distribute in the event that cases do begin to show up locally. As of Wednesday, the state of New York had 156 confirmed cases of monkeypox.
Anyone experiencing any kind of rash should consult with their doctor for evaluation. Signs of potential infection can include rashes, pimple-like blisters, and flu-like symptoms.