Department of Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire (Photo courtesy of Senate PRIB)

MANILA – Six of the fourteen close contacts of the fourth monkeypox case in the country are still being verified, a health official said Tuesday.

The fourth case is a 25-year-old Filipino with no documented travel history to countries with confirmed cases of monkeypox.

The case tested positive for monkeypox via real time polymerase chain reaction test on Aug. 19 and is admitted in an isolation facility.

In a media forum Tuesday, Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said six of the close contacts are undergoing quarantine and one is described low risk which means there is no need to undergo quarantine but has to perform self-monitoring.

“’Yung anim na iba pa (The other six) for these 14 close contacts for the fourth case are still being verified and traced,” she said.

One of the close contacts takes care of the fourth case in the isolation facility.

“So, ito ay continuous contact, itong tao na ito kaya siya pagkatapos natin siya ma-manage, itutuloy pa rin ang pag-quarantine nitong close contact niya (this is sa continuous close contact, this person, after we manage [the fourth case], we’ll continue the quarantine for this close contact),” Vergeire said.

While the fourth case does not have travel history to and from countries with monkeypox cases, Vergeire said the DOH cannot confirm the presence of local transmission in the country.

“We cannot confirm yet with certainty na local case na nahawa rin sa isa pang local case kaya may (that one local case got infected by another local case, hence, the) local transmission that’s why we said we’re still trying to back trace, verifying information, so that we can establish the source of infection,” she said.

Last week, the DOH reported the second and third cases of monkeypox. The second case -- a 31-year-old Filipino – tested positive for monkeypox on Aug. 18 while the third case -- a 29-year-old Filipino – had positive test result on Aug. 19.

The first case -- a 31-year-old Filipino who tested positive on July 28 -- had recovered and was discharged from isolation on Aug. 6. (PNA)