This communication is to all Ontario healthcare providers in the community assessing patients for Monkeypox infection or submitting samples for testing, which have been collected from a person with possible, suspected, or confirmed Monkeypox infection.
Beginning in May 2022, several countries have declared Monkeypox outbreaks following a number of unexpected local transmission events, including apparent human-to-human spread. This memo aims to inform healthcare providers of the sample submission process from patients with possible, suspected, or confirmed Monkeypox infection.
Community laboratories in Ontario do not currently offer diagnostic testing for Monkeypox infection. Please refer to your local Public Health Laboratory if you have questions regarding testing eligibility, specimen collection, or transportation.
Routine (Non-Monkeypox) Diagnostic Testing from Patients with Possible, Suspected, or Confirmed Monkeypox Infection
Due to the unique infection prevention and control (IPAC) protocols required to manage Monkeypox cases, we are requesting that healthcare providers refrain from directing patients with confirmed Monkeypox infection to community specimen collection centers for sample collection. Patients with confirmed Monkeypox infection should not be directed to specimen collection centers until all lesions have crusted over or the patient has otherwise been cleared for testing by public health.
Community specimen collection centers do not offer collection services for diagnosing Monkeypox infection (e.g., lesions, throat, or nasopharyngeal swabs). However, centers will support collection of serum or urine samples if urgent testing is required and only from possible or suspected Monkeypox cases (i.e., not from confirmed cases). If sample collection is required from possible or suspected Monkeypox cases healthcare providers are required to first contact the local specimen collection center to confirm that they can accommodate the collection and to arrange an appointment to ensure IPAC protocols are adhered to. Please call your respective laboratories for guidance about where to send your patients and when to send them.