Monkeypox update

Monkeypox update

Due to the detection of a fourth case of Monkeypox in the country, medical authorities in the Department of Health (DOH) warned the public that health protocols should be strictly adhered to.

The fourth case as manifested by a 25-year old, and detected on Aug. 22 had no travel history to any country with monkeypox cases, unlike the first three cases. The unidentified individual is presently in home isolation, with tracing being undertaken with 14 close contacts, Baguio City Health Services Office head Dr. Galpo reported during the management committee meeting last week.

The first case, a 31-year old, who tested positive on July 28 is already discharged on Aug. 6; the second also a 31-year old, found positive on Aug. 18 and on home isolation; and the third case, a 29 year-old, detected on Aug. 19 is also on home isolation. All three had travel history to countries with  monkeypox cases.

As to the conditions presented, local transmission is possible, Dr. Galpo said.

Health protocols same as that of Covid-19 should still be implemented including good hygienic practices including frequent hand sanitation, physical distancing, good air circulation, and proper wearing of best-fitted masks, she added.

Accordingly, monkeypox is a rare infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. Transmission could be through human to animal, or human to human through direct contact, contact with body or lesion fluids, or contact with contaminated clothes, lines or materials.

The signs and symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pains, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, chills and rashes which may first appear on the face, body, palms and soles of the feet, near the genitals and even the mucous membranes. The rashes appear after three days of fever, and may disappear as the rashes dry off. Complications including those in the internal organs should however be treated, thus medical attention is needed once the symptoms appear.  

Same as with Covid-19, the Four-door policy of Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat and Reintegrate (PDITR) process shall be implemented once a case is detected, Dr. Galpo said.

The policy includes travel restriction; screening, testing isolation and quarantine; detection through surveillance, isolation and quarantine, treatment and management, vaccination once available; and health care and surge capacity through accordion policy, telemedicine, home care and isolation.

A vaccine may be given once it is available, Dr. Galpo said.  Lately, the World Health Organization issued an alert that the Monkeypox global outbreak is now a public concern. – JGF