THE CITY COVID Task Force is readying the local response on the possible spread of the monkeypox virus – a viral zoonosis or a virus transmitted to humans from animals with symptoms similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients.
In an interview Wednesday on Davao City Disaster Radio, task force spokesperson Dr. Michelle Schlosser said that they are looking at utilizing the COVID Cluster Clinics (CCCs) in handling potential cases.
She said the CCCs have been established not only for COVID-19 but also for other emerging and re-emerging diseases like Monkeypox.
“[Ang Monkeypox] is part of our emerging and re-emerging disease. Ang atoang COVID-19 Cluster Clinic will also be handling this one. Fortunately, wala pa man ta’y case ani (monkeypox is part of our emerging and re-emerging disease. Our COVID-19 Cluster Clinic will also be handling this one. Fortunately we do not have a case here),” Schlosser said.
Schlosser said that based on the discussion with the Department of Health (DoH), monkeypox like COVID-19 can be transmitted through respiratory droplets.
Apart from droplets, it can also be transmitted through an open wound, body fluids, and physical body contact including sexual transmission.
“Ang incubation period niya is from five to 21 days. Ang pinaka-first symptoms niya is fever and swelling of lymph nodes. Some of the patients also with monkeypox naga manifest sila ug headache, chills, sore throat, kakapoy sa lawas and fatigue (The incubation period for this is from five  to 21 days. The first symptoms are fever, and swelling of lymph nodes. Some of the patients with monkeypox also manifest headache, chills, sore throat, and fatigue),” she said.
She added that what is unique about this disease are the rashes that look like chickenpox but are larger.
“The good thing about this is two to three weeks recovery and to prevent severity, naa naman ta’y pre-exposure vaccine for monkeypox (The good thing about this is it has 2-3 weeks recovery, and to prevent the severity there is already a pre-exposure vaccine for monkeypox),” she said adding that since this is a viral illness it is best to always strengthen the immune system to lessen its severity.
Schlosser noted that the Philippines has no cases yet but it is present in other countries such as Spain, Portugal, and European Union countries.
In a report, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the situation is evolving rapidly and it expects that there will be more cases identified as surveillance expands in non-endemic countries, as well as in countries known to be endemic who have not recently been reporting cases.