If your facility has a suspected monkeypox case, please call your local or state health department first. If you are not sure which health department to call, you can contact the Texas Department of State Health Services Health (DSHS) Service Region 6/5 South at (713) 767-3000.
Your local (or state) health department epidemiologist (EPI) will conduct the initial investigation. If monkeypox is suspected, the health department may consult with DSHS and/or the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) Emergency Operations Center (EOC). A case number may be assigned by CDC.
Your facility will collect specimens appropriately and coordinate with the Local Health Authority to send them to the health department’s Laboratory Response Network (LRN) laboratory for testing by real-time PCR. Collect two (duplicate) multi-lesion dry swabs as follows:
- Use a sterile nylon, polyester, or Dacron swab with plastic, wood, or thin aluminum shaft. Do not use other types of swabs.
- Swab or brush multiple lesions (generally 2-3 lesions, preferably from different locations on the body and/or from lesions with differing appearances) vigorously with a sterile dry swab.
- Break off the end of the applicator of each swab into a 1.5- or 2-mL sterile screw-capped tube with an O-ring or place each entire swab in an empty sterile tube/container (preferred). If you do not have empty sterile tubes, you can put the swab in a viral transport media (VTM) tube. Universal transport media (UTM) tube cannot be used. Label the tube with the patient’s name, date of birth, and specimen collection date.