The World Health Organization (WHO) declares Monkeypox as Public Health Emergency of International concern. According to WHO, the Monkeypox has expanded to more than 16,000 cases from 75 countries and territories, officially making the virus a global emergency.
“We have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly through new modes of transmission, about which we understand too little, and which meets the criteria in the international health regulations,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus said.
“For all of these reasons, I have decided that the global Monkeypox outbreak represents a Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” the director added.
The Public Health Emergency of International Concern is the highest level of alert of WHO which to recap is also given to COVID-19 pandemic.
The Monkeypox virus is transmittable through close contact. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and back pain, or skin lesions.
As per Department of Health (DOH) officer in charge Maria Rosario Vergeire, there is still no suspect Monkeypox case detected in the Philippines but following the announcement of WHO, the DOH issued a publich health advisory pertaining to Monkeypox. Further, WHO is preparing to deal with the virus together with its partners since its cases have increased in the month of May.
Based on Infectious Disease expert Dr. Solante, the same precautions during COVID-19 should be practiced with Monkeypox. “Monkeypox can also be acquired through droplets, of respiratory drops, so wearing a facemask, washing your hands, and importante ‘yong personal hygiene.”
Dr. Solante said that the government should update the interim guidelines in managing the Monkeypox especially with the new data regarding the virus.
“In other countries, the most commonly affected are the men who have s3x with men, so there are those who are also HIV positives, without stigmatizing the MSMs (men who have s3x with men) we need to focus on that advocacy that it is also sexually transmitted, not only through close contact or droplet precautions.”
Putting a special border control policy is also a measure to deal with public health emergency to monitor nationals entering the Philippines especially those coming from countries with Monkeypox cases.
Moreover, according to Dr. Solante, the government should buy vaccines and expand the testing capacity especially that only the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and Philippine Genome Center (PGC) have the capacity to test the Monkeypox as of the moment. And there is still no approved treatment against the virus other than isolating the patient to avoid contamination until the skin lesions disappear.
Source: 24 oras
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