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Mayo Clinic Labs to soon offer monkeypox testing

There have been 199 reported monkeypox cases in the U.S. across 26 states and Washington, D.C., as of Friday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.jpg
The Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
TNS file photo
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ROCHESTER — Mayo Clinic is gearing up to start testing for monkeypox, a virus surging worldwide.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that five commercial laboratories, including Mayo Clinic Laboratories in Rochester, are now authorized to perform monkeypox tests to "greatly increase the capacity for the nation to detect the poxvirus."

There have been 199 reported monkeypox cases in the U.S. across 26 states and Washington, D.C., as of Friday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. The first U.S. case was reported on May 17.

"All Americans should be concerned about monkeypox cases. Thankfully, we have right now the tools to fight and treat cases in America," wrote HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra in a statement. "By dramatically expanding the number of testing locations throughout the country, we are making it possible for anyone who needs to be tested to do so."

Dr. Matt Binnicker, Mayo Clinic's director of clinical virology at Mayo Clinic, said the orthopoxvirus tests from the CDC have arrived in Rochester. The Mayo Clinic's Division of Clinical Microbiology will be conducting the tests.

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"Mayo plans to be up and running in early July," according to Binnicker.

When asked about the estimated number of tests expected to be done or how much a test will cost, this was the response:

"Mayo Clinic Laboratories is providing diagnostics in a critical time of need and that will continue to be the focus. Other details will be worked out at a later date," stated Binnicker.

Mayo Clinic Laboratories, which is not under Mayo Clinic's non-profit umbrella, operates at 3050 Superior Dr. NW in northwest Rochester.

Related Topics: ROCHESTERMAYO CLINIC
Jeff Kiger writes a daily column, "Heard on the Street," in addition to writing articles about local businesses, Mayo Clinic, IBM, Hormel Foods, Crenlo and others. He has worked in Rochester for the Post Bulletin since 1999. Readers can reach Jeff at 507-285-7798 or jkiger@postbulletin.com.
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