Philippines Reports First Case of Monkeypox

Keep your guard on.
Photo/s: Cynthia S. Goldsmith / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / AFP

The Philippines on Friday reported its first case of monkeypox , a 31-year-old who arrived from abroad, the Department of Health said Friday.

The patient traveled from a country where monkeypox,  an infectious disease caused by a virus transmitted to humans by infected animals, is not endemic, said Dr. Beverly Ho, a spokeswoman for the DOH.

There are 10 close contacts, three of which are from the same household and are now "undergoing strict isolation and monitoring at home" together with the patient, Dr. Ho said, noting the agency cannot disclose further information. 

Ho said the country is prepared to address monkeypox and encouraged Filipino public to engage in safe sex as a precaution.

"Our systems are in place, but we all need to work together, we also need the public to be vigilant including the key population groups at most risk," she said.


What is Monkeypox, What are the Symptoms?

Continue reading below ↓

Beware of These Monkeypox Conspiracy Theories

What went before

Over the weekend, the World Health Organization declared a global emergency over monkeypox, which has been spreading in just a few weeks to dozens of countries and has infected tens and thousands. 

It's the second time in two years for the WHO to do the extraordinary step. 

A surge in monkeypox infections has been reported since early May outside the West and Central African countries where the disease has long been endemic.

Human-to-human transmission of the virus is possible but considered rare.

After he declared monkeypox a global health emergency, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, advised the group currently most affected by the virus -- men who have sex with men -- to limit their sexual partners.

The first symptoms of monkeypox are a fever above 38.5 degrees Celsius, headaches, muscle pain, and back pain during the course of five days. 

Continue reading below ↓
Recommended Videos

Rashes subsequently appear on the face, the palms of hands, and the soles of feet, followed by lesions, spots and finally scabs.

Transmission comes through close and prolonged contact between two people, principally via saliva or the pus of scabs formed during infection. 

Most monkeypox infections so far have been observed in men who have sex with men, of young age and chiefly in urban areas, according to the WHO.

The disease has a fatality rate of between one and 10 percent depending on the variant -- there are two -- in endemic countries. 

But medical care significantly reduces the risk. Most people recover on their own and outbreaks usually die out on their own due to low transmissibility of the virus.

With reporting from AFP. 

Latest Headlines
Recent News