After four months of leading the country in Monkeypox infections, Jalisco will have its own diagnosis laboratory

The State Public Health Laboratory (LESP) of the Jalisco Health Secretariat (SSJ), will begin today to implement the process for the diagnosis of monkeypox, after federal authorities, through the Institute of Epidemiological Diagnosis and Reference (InDRE) verified the capacity and human-medical-technological equipment of the state institution.

“It is a pleasure for me to announce that this Thursday, October 6, at the Jalisco State Public Health Laboratory we will begin to implement the process for the diagnosis of monkeypox,” announced the head of the SSJ, Fernando Petersen Aranguren, after making a visit to the facilities. Until today, InDRE in Mexico City was the only authority in the country empowered to process and, as the case may be, confirm monkeypox diagnoses. All samples collected in the country were processed in that single location.

The Secretary of Health stated that, given the increase in monkeypox cases throughout the country, the State of Jalisco raised with the InDRE authorities the possibility that the LESP – whose Molecular Biology Laboratory was recently restored and modernized – could implement the diagnosis of monkeypox.

Jalisco was evaluated with great success, which is why it will be one of the three states that will have the authorization to carry out this type of test in its state laboratory.

The head of the Commission for the Protection Against Sanitary Risks of the State of Jalisco (Coprisjal), Denis Santiago Hernández, explained that on September 23, InDRE personnel visited the LESP to verify installed capacity and review compliance with various processes based on national and international standards; such as the standard practices of biosafety and biosecurity that guarantee the safety of the personnel and the quality of the results.

“In order to qualify for the transfer of the molecular diagnosis of monkeypox, a minimum compliance of 80 percent of the Evaluation Guide must be met. The rating of the State Laboratory of Public Health of Jalisco was 99 percent”, highlighted Santiago Hernández.

Thus, training in monkeypox for LESP personnel was carried out at InDRE this week.

As indicated by the InDRE, once the technical transfer of the monkeypox diagnosis has been carried out, the Jalisco LESP will attend to the diagnostic needs of ten states, including Jalisco, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, Colima, Durango, Aguascalientes, Nayarit, Zacatecas, and Sonora.

The process was also transferred to the state laboratories of the State of Mexico, Quintana Roo, and the Central Epidemiology Laboratory of the “La Raza” National Medical Center of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS), to regionalize the monkeypox analysis.

Jalisco leads the country in Monkeypox cases by state, although Mexico City has the most cases, not considered a State of Mexico.

In recent weeks, Jalisco has received criticism for its lack of transparency in the spread of monkeypox and the communities in which the virus is active. At the beginning of the outbreak, the state reported the number of cases by municipality, where Puerto Vallarta was seeing an increase. However, recently, the SSJ limited reporting cases of those in Guadalajara and the remaining cases as ‘other municipalities’. When the Secretay of Health was asked why the cases in Puerto Vallarta were no longer being reported, he replied it’s too difficult to report by locality.

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