Monkeypox symptoms to monitor, according to DOH

July 26, 2022 - 12:39 PM
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(A person arrives to receive a monkeypox vaccination at the Northwell Health Immediate Care Center at Fire Island-Cherry Grove, in New York, U.S., July 15, 2022. (Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)

The Department of Health listed down the symptoms of monkeypox the public should monitor.

Over the weekend, the agency reshared the interim technical guidelines for monkeypox surveillance, screening, management and infection control after the World Health Organization declared the infectious disease as a global health emergency.

DOH first released the advisory via infographics on May 26.

“The World Health Organization has recently declared Monkeypox as another ‘public health emergency of international concern’ or PHEIC on 23 July 2022,” it said.

“In the interest of protecting the general public from both diseases and misinformation, the Department of Health (DOH) is resharing this advisory on Monkeypox released last 26 May 2022,” it added.

The graphics showed symptoms of monkeypox including the following:

  • Swollen lymph nodes

Lymph nodes are bean-shaped structures that are part of the body’s immune system. Clusters of lymph nodes can be found in the underarm, the neck, and the groin.

  • Fever

Fever is experienced one to three days before the rashes appear.

  • Rash

Rashes develop slowly on the face, palms and soles of the feet. They also often develop lesions.

DOH also attached a graphic that compared monkeypox to two common skin-related conditions—chickenpox and measles.

Monkeypox is transmitted via the following activities:

  • Close contact with an infected person or animal (wounds, body fluids, respiratory droplets)
  • Contact with contaminated materials

To prevent monkeypox, DOH reminded the public to continue observing the same health protocols as COVID-19, as follows:

  • Wear face masks properly.
  • Ensure proper ventilation.
  • Keep hands clean.
  • Maintain physical distancing.

As part of its nationwide preparedness, DOH said that it optimized its Real-time PCR assay for detecting the virus among suspected cases.

“More recently, the DOH-Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) optimized its Real-time PCR assay for detecting #Monkeypox Virus as part of the national preparedness and response efforts. DOH surveillance systems are actively monitoring the situation,” it said.

For additional information, DOH also attached a link to a Google Drive that contained a copy of the virtual briefing and the memorandum of the department’s interim technical guidelines for monkeypox.

As of writing, there are no detected monkeypox cases in the country.

Based on reports, there have been over 16,000 infections in more than 75 countries. There have also been five deaths in Africa.

READ: Japan detects first monkeypox case 

Human monkeypox was first detected in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to WHO briefer.

The first outbreak outside of Africa occurred in the United States in 2003.

So far, studies are still underway on how monkeypox suddenly spread to non-endemic countries this 2022.