Suspected monkeypox cases told to report to hospitals first

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

August 1, 2022, 1:53 pm

MANILA – Persons with suspected monkeypox symptoms are advised to isolate themselves in healthcare facilities and not at home, the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PHAPI) said Monday.

In a televised public briefing, PHAPI president Dr. Rene de Grano said monkeypox is a contagious disease and it is important that the public is made aware of its symptoms.

“Kung nakakaramdam sila ng ganiyang sintomas, mag-report agad sila nang sa gayon matingnan natin kung talaga pong monkeypox itong kanilang nararamdaman (If they are experiencing symptoms, they must report [to hospitals] right away to check if they have monkeypox symptoms),” he said.

According to the World Health Organization, the symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle weakness, and rashes.

De Grano said all private hospitals observe the mandates of the Department of Health (DOH) regarding the detection and management of monkeypox cases.

Isolation will begin once an individual with possible monkeypox symptoms has reported to a hospital.

During isolation, the symptoms presented by the patient will be identified further and a real time – polymerase chain reaction test will be taken.

The sample will be sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.

The concerned local government unit or City Epidemiology Surveillance Unit will be informed if the patient tests positive for monkeypox.

“Kailangan po natin malaman, kung saan ito nakuha, ‘yung history ng pasiyente at kung sino po ang nakahalubilo niya nang sa gayon malaman natin kung sino po ang ite-trace natin (We need to know where the patient got it, the patient’s history, and the persons mingled with to know who must be traced),” De Grano said.

Citing that monkeypox is a self-limiting viral infection, De Grano noted that there is no available treatment for it in the country at the moment.

“Ang importante po ay ma-detect natin, and then ma-contain natin, kung sakali mang mayroon and ma-prevent natin ang pag-spread right now (What’s important is detection, and then, we’ll be able to contain it, and if there’s any, we must be able to prevent its spread right now),” he said.

On Friday, the DOH reported the country’s first monkeypox case who is a Filipino who arrived from abroad on July 19.

The case is currently isolated at home to recover, waiting for the body rashes to heal.

The DOH assures the public that the country’s surveillance system can detect monkeypox cases.

The public is also reminded to continue observing health protocols like wearing of face mask, washing of hands and physical distancing to prevent the possible spread of monkeypox virus. (PNA)