Mayo Clinic now testing for monkeypox

The exterior of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. (FOX 9)

As the confirmed cases of monkeypox continue to grow in Minnesota, Mayo Clinic Laboratories will now test for the viral infection using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) orthopoxvirus test kit. 

"Our teams have worked collaboratively with the CDC to validate this test to provide patients with accurate and timely answers," William Morice II, M.D., Ph.D. and president of Mayo Clinic Laboratories said in an announcement. "Access to testing is vital to combat infectious diseases to ensure patients are reducing the spread of the illness and receiving the treatments they need."

Mayo Clinic's Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology will perform testing at its Rochester clinic. The department will ramp up testing capacity as needed, and patients can access testing through health care professionals who use Mayo as their reference laboratory. 

"It’s clear that monkeypox has come to Minnesota," State Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield said in a news release on July 1. "While our current cases are associated with travel outside Minnesota, we expect we will soon see cases among people who have no travel history or contact with someone who did, indicating that spread within social networks in Minnesota is occurring."

Those who have monkeypox symptoms should consult with their health care professional for additional testing, even if they do not believe they were exposed, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms can include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash that can look like pimples or blisters.