North Carolina company will offer monkeypox test, doubling U.S. testing capacity

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Wednesday, July 6, 2022
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North Carolina-based Labcorp is the first company in the United States to offer a test for monkeypox.

BURLINGTON, N.C. -- North Carolina-based Labcorp is the first company in the United States to offer a test for monkeypox.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working to expand monkeypox testing across the country.

Monkeypox is a rare virus that involves flu-like symptoms, swelling of the lymph nodes and a rash that includes bumps filled with fluid. Unlike COVID-19, monkeypox is not new; it was first discovered in 1958.

SEE ALSO: First monkeypox case confirmed in North Carolina

A vaccine for the virus already exists. In addition, the virus is not as easily transmitted as COVID-19.

Those reasons are just a few of why health experts are not as concerned about monkeypox becoming a global problem in the same way COVID-19 did for the past couple years.

Still, the U.S. government is working to expand testing capabilities as well as vaccine and treatment access.

What is Monkeypox & should you worry? Q&A with Dr. David Wohl

Part of that initiative, includes getting the PCR test for monkeypox into national laboratories like Labcorp, so people can get tested quickly if needed.

"Labcorp appreciates the opportunity to support the CDC in its efforts to keep the public safe and manage the monkeypox outbreak," said Dr. Brian Caveney, chief medical officer and President of Labcorp Diagnostics. "We will initially perform all monkeypox testing in our main North Carolina lab and have the capacity to expand to other locations nationwide should the need arise."

Lapcorp expects to eventually have the ability to process up to 10,000 tests per week, doubling the current capacity available through the CDC.

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