DOH says Philippines ready to manage monkeypox cases

Raphael Bosano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2022 08:23 PM | Updated as of Aug 04 2022 03:38 PM

MANILA - The Philippines is ready to manage monkeypox cases, Department of Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said following the detection of the country's first case of the disease last week. 

Based on latest information from the DOH, all close contacts of the first monkeypox case remain asymptomatic.

Aside from the virus, one of the challenges in relation to the disease is misinformation and discrimination of those infected.

"Gusto natin klaruhin, monkeypox has not been classified as a sexually transmitted disease. The very reason na naiisip ito ay STD ay dahil sa presentasyon na pinapakita niya. Almost 95% of the cases all over the world was spread thru sexual contact," Vergeire said in an interview.

The World Health Organization said anyone can get infected with monkeypox.

Aside from usual symptoms like fever and swollen lymph nodes, the WHO says they are seeing new manifestations of the illness. 

"This includes things that can be extremely painful and need medical care such as secondary infections, inflammation or swelling of the rectum. These are really conditions that require care. In addition, there can be the occasional conditions such as encephalitis which is inflammation of the brain," said Dr. Rosamund Lewis of the WHO Technical Lead for Monkeypox. 

In the Philippines, other agencies like the Department of Transportation is now planning to work with the DOH to come up with possible guidelines to avoid viral transmission particularly in public transportation.

This, especially now that public utility vehicles operate at fully capacity. 

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