States Roll-Out Monkey-Pox Testing Following Outbreak

States Roll-Out Monkey-Pox Testing Following Outbreak

Alyssa Rask, Staff Writer

As the cases of Monkey-pox begin to increase worldwide, some U.S. states are now starting to vaccinate their high-risk residents against the virus. 

Across the nation, dozens of public health labs have been using an “FDA-cleared test for orthopoxviruses” according to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that they are testing different ways to get monkey-pox testing out to states. So far, Roche and Abbott, two leading biotechnology companies, have announced plans to release monkey-pox PCR tests; however, right now, their test kits are for research only.

The World Health Organization said that twenty-three countries have reported a total of 247 confirmed cases and 120 suspected cases. “Currently, the overall public health risk at [a] global level is assessed as moderate considering this is the first time that monkey-pox cases and clusters are reported concurrently in widely disparate WHO geographical areas,” the global health agency said.

Monkeypox is an orthopoxvirus—a family that includes the now eradicated smallpox virus. The fatality rate for monkeypox is estimated to be between 1% and 10%. 

Since the outbreak, no fatalities have been reported and infected people have said symptoms are “relatively mild.”

Chris Mangel, director of public health preparedness and response at the Association of Public Health Laboratories, stated that she does not see the current outbreak developing into a major emergency. For the general public, she stated: “It’s my opinion that they should not be overly concerned.”