Starting today, Quest Diagnostics will begin testing for monkeypox. The company has developed a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that uses patient swab specimens to qualitatively detect non-variola orthpoxviruses and monkeypox virus DNA. The test is now available to healthcare providers nationwide (except in New York)*.
Quest is also verifying CDC’s orthopoxvirus test and plans to make it available to healthcare providers in the first half of August.
Quest will offer monkeypox virus testing at the company’s advanced laboratory in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. and can accept specimens from anywhere in the country.* Quest’s testing will continue to increase the current capacity provided through CDC’s Laboratory Response Network (LRN), Labcorp, and Mayo Clinic Laboratories, providing testing capacity of up to 60,000 specimens per week by the end of July.
On June 22, HHS announced that five commercial laboratory companies would soon begin offering monkeypox testing. Since then, CDC has shipped the tests to the laboratories and their employees have been trained on their administration, among other steps.
Anyone with a rash that should talk to their healthcare provider about whether they need to get tested, even if they don’t think they had contact with someone who has monkeypox. Healthcare providers can order monkeypox virus testing from Quest as they normally would order other tests. People seeking testing for monkeypox must consult with their healthcare provider first; they cannot separately go to a Quest lab, submit a specimen, and request testing. Quest will use electronic laboratory reporting to report results to jurisdictions as outlined in the CDC reporting guidance.
CDC anticipates additional commercial laboratories will come online in the coming days, and monkeypox testing capacity will continue to increase throughout the rest of this month and into August. Healthcare providers can access information on Quest’s test at https://www.questdiagnostics.com/healthcare-professionals/about-our-tests/infectious-diseases/monkeypox**. The latest CDC information on monkeypox is available at www.cdc.gov/monkeypox.
*The service is expected to be available in New York at a later date, pending the state’s review.
**Linking to a non-federal site does not constitute an endorsement by HHS or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the site.