RT-PCR assay tests have been optimized to detect Monekypox in response to the threat of the disease, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine said Wednesday, as the country slowly recovers from the blows of the coronavirus.
Only individuals satisfying the definition of "suspect" cases will be tested, as stated by the Department of Health in a memorandum.
These have been listed as symptoms of Monkeypox:
- skin rashes accompanied by fever
- intense headache
- lymphadenopathy (swelling of the lymph nodes)
- back pain
- myalgia (muscle aches)
- intense asthenia (lack of energy)
- and/or skin eruption
Those exhibiting symptoms must proceed to the nearest higher level of healthcare facility for thorough assessment.
Monkeypox in humans was first recorded in 1970 in Congo and manifests in an extremely itchy rash starting from the face which then spreads to other parts of the body. It belongs to the same family as the smallpox, although Monkeypox is known to be less transmissible and less severe.
MORE ON MONKEYPOX: EXPLAINER: What is Monkeypox, What are the Symptoms?
The Philippines is yet to detect a case or local transmission of Monkeypox.
The RITM technical team is optimizing a second PCR test for differntiating the Monkeypox virus clades. The DOH is also organizing a team to properly handle skin lesion treatment, collection of specimen, and transportation of samples to better understand the virus.