SAN FRANCISCO -- Starting Wednesday, Labcorp will begin testing for monkeypox using CDC's orthopoxvirus test, which detects all non-smallpox related orthopoxviruses including monkeypox.
"The ability of commercial labs to test for monkeypox is a key 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 will make it more convenient for providers and patients to access tests by using existing provider-to-lab relationships."
Additionally, the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) has further defined the eligibility criteria for a Jynneos vaccine to prevent monkeypox infections to San Franciscans who are at high risk. Individuals with general questions about monkeypox or personal health, including risk of contracting the virus, should directed those questions to their health care provider.
People who do not have a health care provider can seek medical guidance from San Francisco City Clinic at 356 7th Street or at Strut at 470 Castro Street. People who are eligible for a vaccine because of a close contact exposure should look at an updated list of locations where vaccines are being administered as well as updates and guidance on monkeypox, and vaccine eligibility information at sf.gov/monkeypox.
Labcorp will offer this testing at its largest facility in the United States and will be able to accept specimens from anywhere in the country. Labcorp expects to be able to perform up to 10,000 tests per week, which will double the current capacity provided through CDC's Laboratory Response Network (LRN), which itself has rapidly expanded testing capacity over the last seven weeks.
On June 22, HHS announced that five commercial laboratory companies would soon begin offering monkeypox testing. Since then, CDC shipped the tests to the laboratories and their employees have been trained on their administration, among other steps.
Anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox should talk to their healthcare provider about whether or not they need to get tested, even if they don't think they had contact with someone who has monkeypox.
Healthcare providers can order the orthopoxvirus test from Labcorp just as they normally would order other tests. The public will not be able to go to a Labcorp lab and submit a specimen. Labcorp will use electronic laboratory reporting (ELR) to report results to jurisdictions as outlined in the CDC reporting guidance.
CDC anticipates additional commercial laboratories will come online and monkeypox testing capacity will continue to increase throughout the month of July. Healthcare providers can access information on Labcorp's test at www.labcorp.com/monkeypox. The latest CDC information on monkeypox is available at www.cdc.gov/monkeypox.
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