Arizona diagnostic lab Sonora Quest launches monkeypox PCR test

Aug 9, 2022, 4:45 AM | Updated: 8:09 am

An automated system extracts DNA for Monkeypox virus testing at the UW Medicine Virology Laboratory...

An automated system extracts DNA for Monkeypox virus testing at the UW Medicine Virology Laboratory on July 12, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. The UW Medicine Virology Laboratory is one of a handful of clinical reference labs in the country to offer laboratory-developed PCR tests for the detection of Monkeypox virus. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona-based Sonora Quest Laboratories and Quest Diagnostics announced the launch of a “one-of-a-kind” monkeypox test Monday.

Arizonans can take the PCR test through their health care providers and it does not require initial orthopox screenings like the CDC’s tests, according to a press release.

This allows results to turn around more efficiently.

“As we all watch the monkeypox public health emergency unfold, Arizonans need answers,” Sonora Quest COO Sonya Engle said.

“By collaborating with our health care partners, we’re bringing yet another innovative test to our communities that make answers more accessible for everyone.”

Most tests are returning between 3-4 days, according to the lab.

Sonora Quest advises those with a poxlike rash to contact their health care provider for a test. The provider administers the test by swabbing a lesion, and the sample gets sent to to Sonora Quest to be processed at Quest Diagnostics.

The test screens for the virus’ genetic information, differentiating monkeypox DNA from orthopox viruses, according to the release.

“COVID-19 and the flu continue to be more widely spread in our communities right now, but this testing will help us to better monitor the monkeypox prevalence in our state,” Engle said.

Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms but are not as severe. Monkeypox is rarely fatal, according to the CDC.

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Arizona diagnostic lab Sonora Quest launches monkeypox PCR test