public health

Philippines ‘intensifying’ border screening amid monkeypox threat

Bonz Magsambol
Philippines ‘intensifying’ border screening amid monkeypox threat

MONKEYPOX. An image created during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox, which took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1996 to 1997, shows the arms and torso of a patient with skin lesions due to monkeypox, in this undated image obtained by Reuters on May 18, 2022.

CDC/Brian W.J. Mahy/Handout via Reuters

The Department of Health says that monkeypox has not been detected in the Philippines or at its borders
Philippines ‘intensifying’ border screening amid monkeypox threat

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday, May 20, said it was “intensifying” border screening and “ensuring that surveillance systems are actively monitoring the situation” following the detection of monkeypox cases in European countries, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

The DOH said that monkeypox has not been detected in the Philippines or at its borders.

Monkeypox is a viral disease coming from animals “that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions.” Monkeypox is a virus that causes fever symptoms as well as a distinctive bumpy rash. It is usually mild, although there are two main strains: the Congo strain, which is more severe – with up to 10% mortality – and the West African strain, which has a fatality rate in about 1% of cases. The UK cases have been reported as the West African strain.

Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, rash, and swollen lymp nodes, which may lead to a range of medical implications.

The DOH urged the public to continue observing minimum health standards to prevent monkeypox transmission. The viral disease is being transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person, animal, or contaminated materials.

“While monkeypox look like smallpox, it is less contagious and causes less severe illness,” the DOH said.

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EXPLAINER: Why monkeypox cases are spreading in Europe, US

EXPLAINER: Why monkeypox cases are spreading in Europe, US

The recent news about monkeypox comes as the Philippines and the rest of the world is still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this week, the DOH confirmed the local transmission of the more contagious Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1. Rappler.com

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.