The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday said all close contacts of the fourth case of monkeypox in the Philippines have not been manifesting any symptoms of the disease.
DOH officer-in-charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters there has been no new cases of monkeypox recorded in the country.
“We still don’t have new detections based on the sample collections and testing we are doing, no one has tested again for monkeypox. Among the close contacts of our case number four, they all have no symptoms,” she said.
Vergeire said the fourth monkeypox case, a 25-year-old Filipino with no travel history to any country with confirmed monkeypox cases, was recuperating with his lesions healing.
Of the 14 close contacts of the patient, four are in quarantine, one in self isolation, one continuously self-monitoring, and one assisting the patient, she said.
The DOH earlier said the others have finished quarantine.
Vergeire said the patient must finish the 21 days isolation period and has to be assessed by the doctors if completely healed on the last day of isolation.
“Now in terms of the history of the patient, up until now we cannot extract that information kung mayroon siyang nakasalamuha na foreigner o ibang tao na galing sa ibang bansa (if the patient has interacted with a foreigner or person who came from other countries with confirmed monkeypox cases),” Vergeire said.
“We cannot confirm kung tayo ay local case na ba ito at hindi na imported case. We will be informing the public ‘pag may nakuha tayong impormasyon,” she added.
Vergeire stressed the importance of information dissemination to the public in order to prevent the transmission of the disease. Willie Casas
She said that it also needed an active and robust surveillance system to detect and prevent the transmission of the monkeypox.
“Through an appropriate and adequate surveillance system na makakapagdetect tayo and therefore mapeprevent natin ang pagkalat ng sakit and that has been proven that we have effective surveillance system because we were able to detect four cases already here in the country,” she said.
“It’s not just surveillance that we monitor, we also include laboratory surveillance where we are capacitating other laboratories so that they also have the capacity to test,” she added.
The DOH earlier said monkeypox is a virus transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or contaminated materials.
A viral infection resembling smallpox and first detected in humans in 1970, monkeypox is less dangerous and contagious than smallpox, which was eradicated in 1980.
The first symptoms can include a fever, headaches, sharp muscle pains, fatigue, a rash, as well as swollen and painful lymph nodes.