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NC-based Labcorp now offers monkeypox test; Wake County confirms first case

This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virus particles, left, and spherical immature particles, right.
Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner
/
CDC via AP
This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virus particles, left, and spherical immature particles, right.

Updated: 11:10 a.m. | July 7, 2022


A test for monkeypox is now available through Burlington-based Labcorp.

The test uses a method that's already approved by the Food and Drug Administration to detect viruses in the same family as monkeypox, known as orthopoxviruses.

People who think they may have been exposed to monkeypox can receive the test through their doctor. A clinician will swab a suspected lesion. Results will be available in about 2-3 days from the time the sample is picked up.

The company's announcement comes as health officials say testing for the virus is "abysmal." According to a recent NPR story, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention performed just 300 tests as of mid-June.

Labcorp's announcement also came just before Wake County Public Health confirmed its first case of monkeypox on Wednesday. It marks the third confirmed case of the virus in North Carolina.

The patient is currently isolating at home and Wake County staff are working with them on contact tracing. No additional information about this resident was disclosed.

In a statement, Labcorp says it's increasing monkeypox processing capacity at its main lab in Burlington to handle up to 10,000 tests per week.

"The public will go to their health care provider for sample collection and to initiate the testing process; however, health care providers can order the orthopoxvirus test from Labcorp just as they normally would order other tests. This test is currently available on the Labcorp test menu," the company said.

Monkeypox is a rare, viral illness. Symptoms can include fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes and blisters that appear on the body.

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