Saturday, May 27, 2023

US seeks to expand monkeypox testing as cases rise

U.S. health officials are working to expand capabilities to test for monkeypox beyond a narrow set of public health laboratories, heeding calls from infectious-disease experts who say testing for the virus should be considered routine care. need to be a part of.

Dr. Rochelle Valensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said during a conference call Friday that her agency is working with the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to expand testing capacity. working together. Inclusion of commercial laboratories.

CDC did not respond to a request for details.

Currently, initial monkeypox testing in the United States is done through a network of 69 public health laboratories, which send the results to the CDC for confirmation.

So far 45 monkeypox cases have been confirmed in 16 US states where the virus is endemic, with the bulk of the current outbreak outside Africa, occurring in Europe.

The United States has conducted about 300 monkeypox tests. Infectious-disease experts said a 45% increase in testing for the virus last week needed to increase dramatically if the outbreak is to be stopped.

“There just isn’t enough testing going on for monkeypox in the United States,” said Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

“Commercial laboratories are used to working with health care providers across the country, moving samples around quickly, reporting results quickly in a way that providers understand and expect, ” They said.

In order for commercial labs to perform this test, they need access to monkeypox samples to validate their tests, regulatory guidance from the FDA and the Commercial Billing Code set by the CMS, for the COVID-19 Response. Inglesby, a former senior White House adviser, said.

“I think it’s all moving forward,” he said.

In a detailed report of 17 cases published last week by the CDC, most of the patients, identified as men, have had sex with men.

In many cases, the monkeypox rash began in the genital area, causing some doctors to misdiagnose it as a more common sexually transmitted infection such as herpes or syphilis.

“The symptoms of monkeypox are mimicking those of other sexually transmitted infections,” said David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of Sexually Transmitted Disease Directors. “We need to mount a bigger national response.”

The Association of Public Health Laboratories said it still has a lot of potential, but will work to expand the test to commercial labs should the outbreak continue to grow.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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