With razor-sharp lookout, Filipinos should be sensitive to monkeypox, an illness caused by the monkeypox virus which is a viral zoonotic infection, confirmed by health authorities to have been detected in the Philippines.
And only the other day the Department of Foreign Affairs disclosed that a Filipino in Singapore has tested positive for monkeypox, four years older than the 31-year-old Filipino now in isolation in the country after flying in from abroad on July 19.
If there is a silver lining, it was the statement of the Department of Health that stressed it was wrong to discriminate against patients infected with monkeypox.
The detected case, announced only the other day, is of a 31-year-old Filipino who arrived from abroad on July 19 – with no other details like gender, what country the case has come from, except that the case and traced close contacts are now in isolation.
Officials have said the government’s surveillance systems immediately detected the monkeypox, a zoonotic infection which means it can spread from animals to human or from person to person.
Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said: “We immediately took care of and isolated the patient to keep the disease from spreading (and) fast contact tracing has identified the close contacts to halt transmission.
Health OIC Undersecretary Beverly Ho also said the unnamed case remains under strict isolation and monitoring.
Monkeypox, according to medical authorities, can cause a range of signs and symptoms.
While some people have mild symptoms, others may develop more serious symptoms and need care in a health facility. Those at higher risk for severe disease or complications include people who are pregnant, children and persons that are immunocompromised.
The most common symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, and swollen lymph nodes.
This is followed or accompanied by the development of a rash which can last for two to three weeks. The rash can be found on the face, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, eyes, mouth, throat, groin, and genital and/or anal regions of the body.
The number of lesions can range from one to several thousand. Lesions begin flat, then fill with liquid before they crust over, dry up and fall off, with a fresh layer of skin forming underneath.
Symptoms typically last two to three weeks and usually go away on their own or with supportive care, such as medication for pain or fever.
As DOH officer-in-charge Vergeire said: “Let us continue to be vigilant and follow our health protocols.”