The first case of monkeypox has been recorded in the Philippines, according to a Department of Health (DOH) official this Friday.
In the press briefing in Malacañang, Health Undersecretary Dr. Beverly Ho said the first case was a 31-year-old patient.
He refused to give any other details about the patient, even his gender.
According to Ho, the patient arrived in the country from another country on July 19. The patient has also previously traveled to countries with cases of monkeypox.
The patient was diagnosed with monkeypox just Thursday, July 28.
“The case has been discharged well and is undergoing strict isolation and monitoring at home,” said Ho. The patient is said to have 10 close contacts.
Three out of 10 close contacts are with the patient at home. The official added that the quarantined close contacts have not yet shown any symptoms of the disease.
“The DOH assures everyone that our public surveillance systems are able to detect and confirm monkeypox cases,” it added.
Ho advised those who have traveled to countries with cases of monkeypox to see a doctor if they feel symptoms of the disease.
According to an Agence France-Presse explainer, symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache and body aches, rashes, and swelling of the throat.
The World Health Organization (WHO) previously declared monkeypox a global health emergency. There are more than 16,000 cases of it in 72 countries.
Monkeypox virus enters the Philippines
It also appears in the study that 99 percent of those affected by the virus are men who have sex with other men.
So the WHO advises gay and bisexual men to limit their sexual partners while the virus is still under control.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters this Wednesday that the most effective way to protect oneself against such a virus is to reduce the “risk of exposure.”
This past Saturday, Ghebreyesus declared that monkeypox is now a global health emergency due to its spread in 78 countries, and there are already 18,000 cases.
In this number of cases, 98 percent are men who had sex with their fellow men.
“For men who have sex with men, this includes, for the moment, reducing your number of sexual partners, reconsidering sex with new partners, and exchanging contact details with any new partners to enable follow-up if needed,” the WHO official said.