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Monkeypox screening in Greater Lansing: Sparrow is now offering lab tests

Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery | Centers For Disease Control and Prevention
A digitally colorized electron microscopic image depicts monkeypox virus particles.

Sparrow Health System is now offering tests for monkeypox.

A doctor's order is required for the tests, although those without a family physician can head to urgent care for an appointment.

People should get tested if they think they were exposed to monkeypox or if they notice symptoms like fever, chills, exhaustion, muscle aches and the red rash that's characteristic of the virus, Sparrow Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Paul Entler said.

"We want people to get tested early," Entler said. "So we're able to really try and control this as best we can."

The test is taken by swabbing a rash or blister. Results are being returned within 24 hours and Sparrow is the first hospital system in Michigan to offer the testing in-house, Sparrow spokesman John Foren said.

Monkeypox, which is rarely fatal, appears to spread through close personal contact with an infected person. It could also spread through contact with rashes or scabs, either through touching them directly or contact with fabric, like towels or sheets, used by someone with monkeypox.