On August 4th, monkeypox (MPV) was declared a national health emergency after reported cases in the US 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, 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.
Patients can ask their doctors to provide monkeypox testing with Premier Medical Laboratory Services. A practicing physician can order tests and sample collection supplies from PMLS by visiting www.premedinc.com/md-geneticpro-monkeypox/.
For more information about PMLS, please visit www.premedinc.com or call 866.932.4573.
Premier Medical Laboratory Services (PMLS), headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, is the official health and wellness partner of the Greenville Triumph and an advanced molecular diagnostics lab fully certified by top laboratory accrediting organizations, including CLIA and COLA. PMLS prides itself on delivering some of the most rapid turnaround times of testing results in the industry and patient friendly billing. Their expansive menu of highly advanced tests and screenings include genomic risk assessment assays for various cancers, heart disease, and diabetes, as well as women’s health panels, toxicology, allergy testing, pharmacogenomics, routine blood chemistry, and noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT). With a heartfelt mission to improve patient care, their in-house research and development team of PhD scientists and forward-thinking laboratory staff are continually innovating ways to provide the most highly advanced medical diagnostics available. For more information about PMLS, please visit www.premedinc.com or call 866.312.4707.