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DOH says 4th monkeypox case still healing in isolation

The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday said the reported fourth case of monkeypox in the country is still in isolation and continuously healing.

At a press briefing, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said the 25-year-old Filipino national with no travel history to any country with confirmed monkeypox cases is currently in isolation while the patient’s lesions are continuously healing.

Vergeire also said there is no additional case of monkeypox reported in the country.

She, however, said it was challenging for them to establish the accurate history of the infection as the patient is hesitant to give information due to the media reports in the past days.

“Ang isang nagiging challenge natin ngayon (The challenge now is) for us to establish the accurate history from the patient. The patient is now quite hesitant to give us information because of all the media reports that has happened in the past days,” Vergeire said.

“Napost 'yung kanyang picture sa social media so medyo hesitant siyang makipag-usap ngayon. Kami ay patuloy na nakikipagcoordinate sa kanyang mga kapamilya para makausap natin siya muli at ma-establish natin talaga 'yung source of infection,” she added.

(The patient’s photo was posted on social media so the patient was hesitant to talk to us. But we are still coordinating with the patient’s family to be able to establish the source of infection.)

According to the DOH, all 14 close contacts of the patient were identified as asymptomatic.

Of the 14, six are undergoing quarantine, one is self monitoring, one is assisting the case in the isolation facility whose quarantine will only start when the case is discharged from the isolation.

The DOH said the remaining six have finished quarantine.

Vergeire reiterated they cannot rule out that this is a local transmission, saying the information from the patient has not yet been established.

“So for now, we cannot say 100% and with certainty that this is a local transmission because we have not established the facts yet,” she said.

“Kaya kami nakikiusap sa mga media outlets pati sa mga kababayan natin let’s preserve and respect the identity and privacy of specific individuals afflicted by specific illnesses para naman po hindi sila nagkakaroon ng ganitong agam- agam, nawawala ang tiwala sa gobyerno, nawawala tiwala sa mga tao dahil dito,” she added.

(We appeal to the media outlets and the public to preserve and respect the identity and privacy of specific individuals afflicted by specific illnesses in order to lessen their worry. They lose their trust in the government and the people because of these incidents.)

Second and third case

The second and third cases of monkeypox in the country are asymptomatic and still in isolation, according to Vergeire.

The 18 close contacts of the second case are doing self monitoring and have remained asymptomatic.

Of the 17 close contacts of the third case, four of them are undergoing quarantine and 13 are doing self monitoring. The DOH said they are all currently asymptomatic.

Vergeire earlier said the second and third monkeypox cases are aged 34 and 29 and both had recently traveled to countries with confirmed monkeypox cases.

She declined to give details about the patients, including their gender.

The DOH earlier said monkeypox is a virus transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or contaminated materials.

A viral infection resembling smallpox and first detected in humans in 1970, monkeypox is less dangerous and contagious than smallpox, which was eradicated in 1980.

The first symptoms can include a fever, headaches, sharp muscle pains, fatigue, a rash, as well as swollen and painful lymph nodes, according to an Agence France-Presse explainer.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on July 23 declared the monkeypox outbreak — which has affected nearly 16,000 people in 72 countries, according to a tally by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — to be a global health emergency, the highest alarm it can sound.—AOL, GMA News

Tags: news, DOH, monkeypox