While rapid at-home test kits became an instant success during the Covid-19 pandemic, a similar attempt for monkeypox seems unlikely, media reports say. The recent global monkeypox outbreak is bringing a sense of déja vu with the Covid pandemic, including painful Pap smears, the struggle to find a test and a long wait for results. But the diseases are different, The Verge reported.
Unlike Covid, monkey pox is not a respiratory disease; and the test for Covid focused on the nose and mouth.
Monkeypox, on the other hand, manifests as painful, blister-like sores and other symptoms such as fever and muscle aches. Currently, the disease is detected by wiping the sores that appear in the course of an infection.
Monkeypox is a “different enough” infection, Ben Pinsky, the medical co-director for point-of-care testing at Stanford Health Care in the US, said.
There’s still a lot of work to be done to find out whether people can successfully trim their own lesions, which can be painful or difficult, he added.
Furthermore, the reliance on lesions means that patients cannot be tested until the telltale signs of the disease appear. People who remain asymptomatic — especially without lesions — should not be able to take a test.
People, on the other hand, can test for Covid-19 without waiting for specific symptoms to appear.
“I’m a big believer in disease testing at home, but you have to have the right sample at the right time, and we’re not there yet,” said Paul Yager, a professor in the department of bioengineering at the University of Washington. was quoted as follows.
But the potential for rapid home test kits cannot be overlooked, the report said.
A small study, published in Eurosurveillance in June, discovered monkeypox virus DNA in saliva and semen in 12 patients in Spain.
A California-based company, Flow Health, has also developed a saliva-based monkeypox molecular test that asks people to spit into a tube and then send the sample in for PCR testing.
The test is not authorized or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which calls for monkeypox testing for lesions
The company is sharing its saliva test data with the FDA as the agency monitors whether it needs to update its guidelines, Flow Health CEO Alex Meshkin told The Verge.
However, much remains to be done to find out how and when the monkeypox virus appears in different parts of the body during the course of the disease, which will affect how effective and accurate tests that do not use lesions could be . to be.
For example, if the monkeypox virus appears in the saliva before lesions develop, a saliva-based test can help identify the disease at an early stage. But if not, that type of test may not be as helpful, the report said.
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