MANILA – The country’s first case of monkeypox is currently isolated at home to recover, a health official said Monday.

In a radio interview, Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said the 31-year-old patient, who arrived from overseas on July 19, has no more symptoms.

“Pinapagaling na lang ang kanyang rashes sa katawan (Just waiting for the rashes on the body to heal),” she said.

The 21-day isolation [period] must be completed and all the symptoms must be resolved before the patient could be allowed to go out again, she added.

The DOH has identified 10 contacts of the patient are now being monitored daily.

Health experts say monkeypox is contagious as soon as the symptoms start.

Earlier, the World Health Organization said the monkeypox virus is spread among humans by close contact through lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets, and contaminated items like beddings. Its symptoms include fever, headache, muscle weakness, and rashes.

There is a real time – polymerase chain reaction test for monkeypox.

“We have already mobilized our surveillance teams as early as May at our airports and docks. We are confident na sana lahat ng makapasok na kaso sa ating bansa ay ma-detect (that all cases to enter the country will be detected),” Vergeire said.

Monkeypox vaccine could be administered to those who were exposed to cases or pre-exposure to cases but for the members of vulnerable sectors only.

It is produced by the United States of America and currently has limited supply.

“Exploring tayo kung saan tayo pwede makakuha, makabili o ‘di kaya ay mai-donate sa atin sa lalong madaling panahon (We’re exploring where we can get or buy, or if we can receive a donation as soon as possible),” she said. (PNA)