U.S. health officials are working to increase the ability to test for monkey pox beyond a narrow group of public health organizations, and to listen to calls from infectious disease experts who say virus testing needs to become part of routine care.
Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said in a conference call on Friday that her organization is working with the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to increase testing capacity for business. laboratories.
The CDC did not respond to a request for further information.
Currently, a preliminary test for monkey pox in the United States is conducted through a network of 69 public health laboratories, which send the results to the CDC for confirmation.
There have been 45 confirmed cases of smallpox in 16 US states to date, as the bulk of the current epidemic outside Africa, where the virus is endemic, has occurred in Europe.
The United States has performed approximately 300 monkey tests.
Although virus testing has risen 45% in the past week, it needs to increase significantly if the epidemic can be curbed, said infectious disease experts.
“There are not enough tests going on right now for monkey pox in the United States,” he said. Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
“Retailers are used to working with healthcare professionals around the country, delivering samples quickly, announcing results quickly in a way that providers understand and expect,” he said.
Major US commercial testing companies include Quest Diagnostics and Labcorp.
For commercial laboratories to perform these tests, they need access to monkey vaccine samples to verify their tests, FDA regulatory guidelines and billing codes set by the CMS, said Inglesby, a former White House senior adviser on COVID-19 responses.
“My feeling is that everything is moving forward,” he said.
In a detailed report on 17 cases published by the CDC last week, most patients were identified as men having sex with men.
In many cases, the monkey rash started on the genitals, which could lead to some doctors misdiagnosing them as a more common sexually transmitted infection such as herpes or syphilis.
“Monkey vaccine symptoms are similar to other sexually transmitted diseases,” said David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
“We need to have a bigger response nationwide.
The Association of Public Health Laboratories said it had enough capacity now, but would work to expand testing to commercial research institutes if the epidemic continued to grow.
The United States seeks to expand monkey vaccine testing as the number of cases increases – SABC News
Source link The United States seeks to expand monkey vaccine testing as the number of cases increases – SABC News