08 September 2022
Unilabs expands its diagnostic portfolio and offers monkeypox testing
Geneva, 08 September 2022: Unilabs, a leading diagnostic services provider, has expanded its portfolio and performs monkeypox tests to address the current global health concern. The group is ready to perform this test in France, Spain, Portugal, and the UAE and will extend this service across its entire network pending regulatory green light.
"Since the first reports of monkeypox infections and the increase of cases in our countries, at Unilabs we have adapted to the current needs and have worked to offer this test to patients,” said Unilabs’ Chief Medical and Operations Officer Dr Christian Rebhan. “We have the expertise and the equipment to assist health authorities in the detection of this disease that is rapidly increasing in many countries of the world.”
The reference test for the detection of positive cases of monkeypox infection consists of a PCR test, which is performed by direct sampling of skin lesions using a swab. The sample is analysed to search for the presence of genetic material of the virus and allows to know if the patient has been infected thanks to its high specificity and sensitivity. It is also indicated for anyone in close contact with an affected patient, or who has been in an environment that could be contaminated, and who shows symptoms of the disease.
The test is performed by a health professional at Unilabs facilities, in a safe environment, to ensure correct sampling and diagnosis, following the health recommendations for patient management published by the WHO and the local health authorities of each country. The results are obtained within 48 hours of taking the sample.
Monkeypox is a rare viral zoonosis, the first cases of which were detected in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the region where most of the documented cases are concentrated. In 2022, the first cases of monkeypox infection were reported in Europe with no history of recent travel to Africa and no contact with any imported cases of the disease. This makes detection essential to control the spread of the disease.
The main symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, muscle aches, weakness, and lymphadenopathy during the first few days after exposure to the virus. These symptoms are followed or accompanied by skin lesions on different areas of the body, evolving from flat lesions to fluid-filled vesicles, pustules, and crusts.