If Monkeypox is the next pandemic, Co-Dx is ready to curb the spread
Last week, the World Health Organization officially declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency. With about 16,000 reported cases worldwide and counting, there is discussion domestically and internationally of the precautions communities may want to consider to stifle its spread.
Despite the reference to our common primate ancestor, the monkeypox virus is not exclusive to monkeys, nor does contact with one predicate its transmission. The name “monkeypox” was coined after the virus was first discovered in colonies of monkeys used for research in 1958. This doesn’t necessarily mean the virus actually originated with the animals as the source of the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The monkeypox virus has some interesting similarities to the pox virus family, specifically to smallpox, which was successfully eradicated through worldwide vaccination acceptance in the 1980s. While monkeypox is not as transmissible or fatal as smallpox, some researchers worry that monkeypox could mutate and become a greater threat to humans.
In 2008, a scientific article published by the National Library of Medicine alluded to the monkeypox virus’ propensity to elicit a global pandemic should it be introduced to an unvaccinated population. Of course, we are no longer strangers to viral pandemics. And this emerging virus seems to sing a similar tune to its Covid colleague, with symptoms ranging from headache, fever, muscle aches, and lack of energy. However, a unique quality of the monkeypox virus is that a rash can also be present, resembling pimples and pus-filled blisters, the CDC says. This rash can develop all over the human body, including the face, feet, hands, genitals, and inside the mouth.
Looking toward meaningful public health solutions to the current dilemma, Utah’s own Co-Diagnostics, Inc. (Co-Dx) has already shipped out its first monkeypox virus testing kit—an incredible feat in a very narrow margin of time. Given the steep uptick in demand in the catchment regions with Co-Dx’s reach, these monkeypox testing kits were shipped, designed, and developed on an expedited basis.
"Last week, the World Health Organization officially declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency. With about 16,000 reported cases worldwide and counting."
“The World Health Organization has stated that ‘Detection of viral DNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the preferred laboratory test for monkeypox.’ We are grateful to our dedicated design and manufacturing teams, whose efforts have allowed us to react so quickly to meet the needs of an important distributor customer,” says Dwight Egan, CEO of Co-Dx. “Co-Dx is pleased to be able to continue our mission of providing high-quality, affordable molecular testing products in response to ever-changing healthcare demands in regions all around the world.”
These new testing kits were built around Co-Dx’s exclusively patented CoPrimer™ technology and were designed using its proprietary software system. This seems to have set Co-Dx apart from many potential market competitors in the race to suppress monkeypox cases worldwide.
What could this new PCR-based monkeypox detection technology mean for the landscape of this emerging virus? For one, it could mean catching the diagnostic train significantly ahead of the infection curve worldwide, at least compared to the Covid pandemic timeline. Harnessing the power of safe and accurate diagnostics, Co-Dx may be paving the path forward for the world to more adequately prepare and shelter from a potential untimely recurrence of viral overload.
“One of the most important lessons the world learned following the Covid pandemic is the importance of quick, decisive action in the face of any potential outbreak of transmissible viruses. This means being prepared for every scenario,” Egan says. “Co-Dx was founded with the mission to increase the accessibility of affordable, high-quality molecular testing products around the world. We look forward to eventually making this test available in affected regions as needed to help slow the spread of the virus through early and accurate detection.”