Diagnostic Companies Focus On Monkeypox Tests Following Outbreak; Experts Do Not Count It As Next COVID Yet

Diagnostic companies aggressively developed tests for monkeypox as governments struggle to trace the world's first major viral infection outbreak beyond Africa, Reuters reports.

However, the demand for monkeypox tests will be a fraction compared to COVID as monkeypox is neither as contagious nor as fatal as COVID, which contributed to a multibillion-dollar boon for test makers.

Analysts did not expect the new outbreak to make up for the anticipated slowing of COVID diagnostic sales.

Related: WHO Says Monkeypox Outbreak 'Unusual' But 'Containable'

Still, the World Health Organization's (WHO) Europe head warned against rising cases as people gather for parties and festivals over the summer.

About 30 countries have reported more than 550 confirmed cases of monkeypox since early May. The majority were in Europe with no link to travel to Africa. 

There were already vaccines, treatments, and tests available that could help curb the spread of monkeypox, unlike COVID.

Monkeypox is usually transmitted through close contact causing flu-like symptoms and pus-filled skin lesions. 

Related: 6 Stocks To Watch Amid Monkeypox Outbreak

Barclays estimates COVID tests to generate 3 billion Swiss francs for Roche Holding Ltd RHHBY in 2022 versus 1.9 billion Swiss francs ($2.0 billion) in 2021.

A diagnostic alliance's senior director did not see the need for hundreds of thousands of tests despite the outbreak, unlike COVID, thereby dispelling supply concerns regarding tests.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests were the definitive test for detecting monkeypox, as per WHO. Most diagnostic makers focused on PCR tests for monkeypox. 

WHO is yet to gain clarity regarding the transmission of the virus via symptomatic individuals leaving doubts over the necessity of precautionary testing of suspected cases.

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