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On August 4, monkeypox (MPV) was declared a national health emergency after reported cases in the U.S. rose in one month by approximately 900%. With the current outbreak, more active infections of the virus have been recorded throughout the world than ever before. As the number of cases continue to increase, Premier Medical Laboratory Services (PMLS) is now one of only a handful of laboratories in the nation validated to provide diagnostic testing for the virus. With a high-throughput laboratory infrastructure, they can process these tests fast – 98% of results are delivered in under 24 hours.

“Our in-house R&D team of scientists are continually keeping us up to date to meet the diagnostic needs of the population,” said Kevin Murdock, CEO of Premier Medical Laboratory Services. “We not only strive to offer the latest assays for advanced diagnostics, but we also aim to provide these results as quickly as possible. We want to enable physicians to develop treatment plans for their patients as early as possible to hopefully lessen the severity of symptoms a patient will have to face.”  

Since the beginning of the outbreak, testing for this virus has been limited and PMLS is proud to provide further accessibility to diagnostics. Currently, the assay utilized by PMLS is performed via the PCR method with biological samples collected by a swab from a patient’s lesion. This is the most widely available test for the virus to date. PMLS scientists are working to validate a test method that requires a less invasive saliva collection. They expect to achieve validation and to begin offering this testing method option in the coming weeks. This will be announced separately to relay its availability.

MPV, transmitted mostly through close physical contact, can, in more rare cases, be spread through face-to-face interactions with someone or by touching a contaminated surface. While the virus is rarely fatal, it is reported to produce very painful symptoms. Often, an infected person will first experience flu-like symptoms, starting with chills, fever, swollen lymph nodes, aching muscles, and exhaustion. Typically, a few days after these initial symptoms present, the Monkeypox rash will appear in various places on the skin. This rash can look similar to syphilis, herpes, blisters, or acne.

MPV is a DNA virus which is genetically comparable to smallpox. Both viruses belong to the same family of orthopox viruses. TPOXX, or Tecovirimat, which has been used to treat smallpox is widely believed to effectively treat MPV. Because this antiviral drug is in short supply, the CDC is allowing physicians to access the medication only to treat patients who are at risk for severe disease and those with weakened immune systems. The monkeypox vaccines, JYNNEOS and ACAM2000 are also currently in limited supply, but the Biden Administration recently announced their plan to stretch the vaccine doses so that more patients can receive them. By providing further access to diagnostics, PMLS hopes to help mitigate the spread of MPV as more medications and vaccines become available.

A practicing physician can order tests and sample collection supplies from PMLS by visiting