June 14, 2024

Malacañang expressed concern over the detection of the first case of monkeypox in the Philippines.

“This is not particularly fatal but it is a concern,” said Press Sec. Trixie Cruz-Angeles.

The Department of Health confirmed the first case of monkeypox in the country, involving a 31-year-old Filipino who returned to the Philippines from an overseas trip last July 19.

The reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test result showed the unnamed patient is positive for monkeypox, said DOH OIC Usec. for Public Health Services Team Beverly Ho.

The patient is observing strict isolation and monitoring at home, Ho said.

Despite the discovery of monkeypox in the country, Cruz-Angeles said the DOH is on top of the situation.

“The primary concern is to get the information out so that people will be aware, but also to be aware that the systems of DOH are in place,” she said.

Cruz-Angeles also allayed public fear, stressing monkeypox is “not the same” as the Covid-19.

“This is not like Covid that can be spread by air very easily and could possibly be fatal,” she said.

Monkeypox virus is transmitted through lesions, body fluids, and respiratory droplets, according to the World Health Organization.

Included in the primary transmission is skin to skin contact, including sexual intimacy.

Health authorities emphasized the importance of hand washing and avoiding contact with suspect cases.

Upon detection of the recent case, the DOH immediately quarantined the person.

The symptoms of the disease include fever, intense headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, swollen lymph nodes, and a skin rash or lesions. The WHO said vaccination against smallpox may help stop the monkeypox virus transmission.– PNA