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Lisa Jarvis

New Monkeypox Tests Are Needed to Contain the Disease

Lesion swabs allow for accurate diagnosis, but patients may be infecting others before the skin rash appears.

Testing for monkeypox.

Testing for monkeypox.

Photographer: Carlos Lujan/Europa Press via Getty Images

After weeks of frustration, commercial testing for monkeypox is now going strong in the US and has reduced the backlog. The tests show that, as of Monday, the US had nearly 3,500 cases, among the most in the world.

Yet wider access to existing tests hasn’t made it possible to diagnose infections before they have a chance to spread. For that, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration need to consider new approaches to testing.