PH yet to detect monkeypox, says health dept

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 20 2022 04:56 PM | Updated as of May 20 2022 07:18 PM

Two squirrel monkeys are seen at a zoo in Berlin, Germany, on February 27, 2009. Rainer Jensen, EPA/file
Two squirrel monkeys are seen at a zoo in Berlin, Germany, on February 27, 2009. Rainer Jensen, EPA/file

MANILA (UPDATED) — Monkeypox, recently found in Western countries, has not been detected in the Philippines, the Department of Health said Friday.

The monkeypox virus is transmitted to humans through close contact via wounds, bodily fluids or respiratory droplets from an infected person, animal, or contaminated material, according to the health agency.

It presents symptoms of fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes, the DOH said.

The health agency added it is intensifying border screening and "ensuring surveillance systems are actively monitoring the situation."

Minimum public health standards will prevent Monkeypox transmission, the DOH said.

"Wear your best-fitted mask, ensure good airflow, keep hands clean, and keep physical distance. These also protect us against COVID-19," it said in a statement.

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The DOH is now implementing border control, in coordination with the Bureau of Quarantine, for passengers coming from Central and West Africa, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

Those who show symptoms of monkeypox will be isolated, Duque said.

"Lahat ng protocols naman [All protocols] against COVID [apply] to all other infectious diseases of external origin," he also said.

The monkeypox virus has not posed a risk to public health, Duque said, citing the World Health Organization (WHO). 

The virus has been detected in the US, Canada, and the UK and some European countries, according to the DOH.

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