Indiana University Health has opened a bio-secure lab that will be the primary testing site for suspected monkeypox samples in Indiana, the medical provider said Tuesday.
Scientists and technicians created the testing space at the IU Health Pathology Laboratory in downtown Indianapolis that enables scientists to safely deactivate the virus in incoming samples and test them for the presence of the virus, the provider said.
The current test capacity of 500 samples per day can grow if needed, it said.
Monkeypox is a highly infectious disease that has spread rapidly across the country since the first case was discovered in May.
With on-site testing, turn-around time for results has improved from as many as 14 days to 24-48 hours, IU Health said.
Since May, Indiana has 162 reported cases of monkeypox, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationally last week, there were an average of 337 new daily cases, IU Health said.
The disease spreads by skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.
Monkeypox is part of the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. While similar to smallpox, monkeypox symptoms tend to be milder and the disease is rarely fatal.