WHILE the rise in COVID-19 cases in the country nowadays does not alarm our health authorities, the growing incidence of a new viral disease called “monkeypox” in many parts of the world is enough for the government to warn the public against its transmission if health protocols are ignored.
The Department of Health (DOH) issued Public Health Advisory on May 20, 2022, that warned the general public about Monkeypox found in European countries, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Monkeypox is a viral disease from animals that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of Africa. It is characterized by chickenpox-like rashes or sores. Symptoms include fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes, which may lead to a range of medical complications according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The advisory warned that the monkeypox virus is transmitted to humans through close contact (wounds, body fluids, respiratory droplets).
Monkeypox is airborne and can spread through droplets.
The DOH said that while there’s no reported case of monkeypox detected in the country or its borders, health screening has been intensified and surveillance systems are in place to prevent the possible entry of monkeypox. Health authorities reminded the public that minimum public health standards currently enforced against Covid-19 such as wearing best-fitted masks, ensuring good airflow, keeping hands clean, and physical distancing will definitely prevent the possible spread of the disease.
Emergency medicine specialists have recommended that public health measures will be enough to prevent the spread of monkeypox even without hurting the economy. They assured us that monkeypox is not as contagious as Covid-19 and it is not a new disease.
As concerned citizens, we should always be watchful as we listen to the advice of public health authorities. Anyway, the DOH is intensifying screening at borders and ensuring that surveillance systems are actively monitoring the situation.