MANILA – The country has detected its fourth case of monkeypox – a 25-year-old Filipino with no documented travel history to or from countries with confirmed cases of the disease.

In a statement Monday, the Department of Health (DOH) said the case had a positive result for monkeypox via real time polymerase chain reaction test on Aug. 19 conducted by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.

“The case is being cared for and is admitted in an isolation facility. Intensive case investigation and contact tracing is ongoing,” the DOH said.

To date, about 14 close contacts of the fourth case have been identified.

Currently, one of the close contacts is taking care of the case in the isolation facility while six other contacts are undergoing quarantine.

“One is a healthcare worker who had complete personal protection equipment at [the] time of consultation of [the] case, assessed as low risk, and is now self-monitoring. Details of the other six are being verified,” the DOH said.

The agency noted that the four confirmed monkeypox cases in the country are unrelated to each other.

The first case – a 31-year-old Filipino who tested positive on July 28 – has already recovered and was discharged from isolation on August 6.

The second case – a 31-year-old Filipino – tested positive for monkeypox on August 18 while the third case – a 29-year-old Filipino – had positive PCR test result on August 19.

Both second and third cases are still in home isolation and are in stable condition.

They had travel histories to countries with confirmed cases of monkeypox.

Their 17 close contacts are isolated in a health facility. No new contacts of these cases have been identified.

Monkeypox is spread through skin to skin contact with the infected individual or handling items that were touched or used by the case.

“If you have fever, swollen lymph nodes, and rashes or skin lesions, immediately consult your healthcare provider,” DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said in the same statement.

Monkeypox is not considered a sexually transmitted disease, but it is often transmitted through close and sustained physical contact. Such can include sexual contact with those who have rashes or open lesions.

Earlier, the DOH told the public it can help prevent the spread of monkeypox by avoiding close and sustained physical contact with suspected cases, keeping hands clean, wearing face masks, covering coughs with your elbow, and choosing areas with good airflow. (PNA)