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Mayo Clinic Labs to soon offer monkeypox testing

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.”

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The Mayo Clinic's Gonda building Monday, Aug. 7, 2017, in downtown Rochester.
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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.”

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There have been 142 reported monkeypox cases in the U.S. across 24 states and Washington, D.C., as of last week, since the first case was reported on May 17, 2022.

"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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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.

Heard on the Street - Jeff Kiger column sig

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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