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Monkeypox Sample Handling Error Leads to Internal Lab Investigation 

The Idaho Bureau of Laboratories yesterday discovered a critical sample handling error that resulted in the reporting of a false positive monkeypox test result for one patient in southwest Idaho and a false negative test result for another patient. The affected patients and their contacts are being notified.

Monkeypox testing was temporarily suspended Monday, Aug. 1, while the laboratory conducted a full-scale investigation that identified the source of the error and established remedies to ensure that it will not happen again. Testing for monkeypox has resumed at the Bureau of Laboratories and is also available through several commercial laboratories.

“We are confident this was a one-time event, and we have implemented corrective actions to ensure an error like this does not happen again”, said Idaho Bureau of Laboratories Chief Dr. Christopher Ball. “We remain committed to providing Idahoans accurate and timely information as we respond to this new outbreak. We sincerely apologize to all those who were impacted by this unfortunate situation.”

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov.