Fears of new restrictions have arisen as a result of the discovery of several new monkeypox clusters in Europe and North America. International travelers now have even more reason to be concerned, as new monkeypox PCR tests have just been released.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel warning due to the spread of the monkeypox virus in North America and many European countries.
While testing for the disease is not yet mandatory for travel, some countries, such as Belgium, have already imposed a 21-day quarantine for visitors diagnosed with the disease.
The availability of PCR testing for monkeypox would facilitate detection and as a result, it could prompt health authorities to tighten health measures.
Two companies have launched brand-new PCR tests to detect the infection, showing that there is a push for stricter health measures in response to monkeypox. They are Roche (Switzerland) and Trivitron Healthcare (India), which will most likely be pitching their products to relevant authorities worldwide.
Roche developed not one but three different tests for monkeypox shortly after it first appeared in Europe. The Swiss brand says scientists from around the world can now use these tests in most countries, setting the route for broader commercialization.
Currently, no countries require PCR testing for monkeypox for travel, but this may change as more companies develop testing methods and the virus spreads. Most cases in the Northern Hemisphere have been found in Europe, which has accounted for 118 of the new infections to date.
However, because monkeypox is also present in North America, including the United States and Canada, and those with the disease have not traveled recently, there is a high probability that the virus is spreading within the community.
Monkeypox-specific entry requirements have not yet been enacted in the United States or Canada.
The countries affected so far include, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States.