Philippines reports first documented case of monkeypox

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The Philippines reported its first case of monkeypox virus found in a citizen who returned from overseas earlier this month, a health ministry spokesman said Friday.

The 31-year-old man recovered but was isolated at home, while 10 people identified as close contacts, including three from the patient’s family, were quarantined, Deputy Health Secretary Beverly Ho said.

The man had previously traveled to countries with documented cases of monkeypox, Ho said, without elaborating.

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About 70 countries where monkeypox is not endemic have reported outbreaks of the viral disease as the number of confirmed cases topped 20,300, and the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global health emergency.

Labeled tubes "Monkeypox virus" with positive and negative results depicted in this illustration taken May 23, 2022.

Test tubes labeled “Monkeypox Virus” with positive and negative results, shown in this illustration taken May 23, 2022.
(REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)

The Filipino case was confirmed on Thursday, and close contacts have not shown any symptoms, Ho said.

The transfer can take place via contact with skin lesions caused by the virus, as well as body fluids, large respiratory droplets and soiled linens.

“Our systems (sanitary supervision) are working. But we must all work together. We also need the public to be vigilant,” Ho said at the briefing.

“Based on what we know about monkeypox … it is clear that we need to be more careful about who we interact with, especially in sexual and intimate contact.”

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The Ministry of Health requires that people who have been exposed to monkeypox be quarantined for 14 to 21 days.

A presidential spokesman said that while monkeypox is not generally fatal, the rapid spread of the virus was a concern.

“(President Ferdinand Marcos“The main task is to spread the word so that people are in the know,” said Trixie Cruz-Angeles.