Can the COVID-19 test kit also be used for smallpox?

Monkeypox, on the other hand, is manifested by painful, blister-like sores and other symptoms such as fever and muscle aches. Currently, the disease is detected by picking the sores that appear during infection.

Ben Pinsky, co-medical director of checkpoint care at Stanford Health Care in the US, said monkeypox is a ‘distinct enough’ infection.


He added: “There is still a lot of work to be done to find out if people can successfully heal their own wounds.

Furthermore, relying on lesions means that patients can only be examined once telltale signs of disease appear. People who have no symptoms – especially no lesions – will not be able to get tested.

On the other hand, people can get tested for COVID-19 without waiting for any specific symptoms to appear.

“I’m a strong proponent of home testing, but you have to have the right sample at the right time, and we’re not there yet,” said Professor Paul Yager of the department of bioengineering at the University of Washington. , was quoted as saying.

However, the potential of rapid at-home test kits cannot be ignored, the report said.

A small study detected monkeypox virus DNA in the saliva and semen of 12 patients in Spain, as published in the journal Euro Monitoring in June.

A California-based company, Flow Health, has also developed a saliva-based molecular test for monkeypox that requires people to spit in a tube and then submit the sample for PCR testing. .

This test is not authorized or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which mandates that monkeypox tests are performed on lesions.

The company is sharing its saliva test data with the FDA as the agency examines whether to update its guidelines, said Flow Health CEO Alex Meshkin. The Verge.

However, there is still a lot of work to be done to figure out how and when monkeypox virus appears in different parts of the body during the course of the disease, which will affect how effective and how effective it is. Accuracy of the tests do not use lesions. it is in.

For example, if monkeypox virus is present in saliva before lesions develop, a saliva-based test could help flag the disease early on. But otherwise, that kind of testing may not be helpful, the report said.

Source: IANS

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