MONKEYPOX: Emerging Health Crisis

According to the World Health Organization, MONKEYPOX is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe. With the eradication of smallpox in 1980 and subsequent cessation of smallpox vaccination, monkeypox has emerged as the most important orthopoxvirus for public health. Monkeypox primarily occurs in central and west Africa, often in proximity to tropical rainforests, and has been increasingly appearing in urban areas. Animal hosts include a range of rodents and non-human primates.

An ongoing outbreak of monkeypox was confirmed in May 2022. The initial cluster of cases was found in the UK, where the first case was detected on 6 May 2022 in an individual with travel links to Nigeria (where the disease is endemic). The outbreak marked the first time monkeypox has spread widely outside Central and West Africa. From 18 May onwards, cases were reported from an increasing number of countries and regions, predominantly in Europe but also in North and South America, in Asia, in Africa, and in Oceania. On 23 July, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). As of 30 August, there had been a total of 50,531 confirmed cases in over 100 countries, most of them seeing their first monkeypox cases. The United States has the highest number of monkeypox cases in the world.

In a recent report from newswire Philippine News Agency, the country has detected its fourth case of monkeypox – a 25-year-old Filipino with no documented travel history to or from countries with confirmed cases of the disease.In a statement, the Department of Health said the case had a positive result for monkeypox via real time polymerase chain reaction test conducted by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.

The agency noted that the four confirmed monkeypox cases in the country are unrelated to each other. The first case – a 31-year-old Filipino who tested positive on July 28 – has already recovered and was discharged from isolation on August 6. The second case – a 31-year-old Filipino – tested positive for monkeypox on August 18 while the third case – a 29-year-old Filipino – had positive PCR test result on August 19. Both second and third cases are still in home isolation and are in stable condition. They had travel histories to countries with confirmed cases of monkeypox.

Monkeypox is spread through skin to skin contact with the infected individual or handling items that were touched or used by the case. Monkeypox is not considered a sexually transmitted disease, but it is often transmitted through close and sustained physical contact. Such can include sexual contact with those who have rashes or open lesions.

Earlier, the DOH told the public it can help prevent the spread of monkeypox by avoiding close and sustained physical contact with suspected cases, keeping hands clean, wearing face masks, covering coughs with your elbow, and choosing areas with good airflow.

PhilhealthCare Inc's Webinar on MONKEYPOX

PhilCare, Comm&Sense, PhilLife, Stitch Tech Solutions, and PhilStar Global recently hosted a free webinar, where Facebook users got information about monkeypox from a certified infectious disease expert, Dr. Christopher John N. Tibayan, RMT, MD, FPCP, DPSMID of St. Luke's Medical Center. The webinar entitled "Monkeypox: Emerging Health Crisis" was hosted live on PhilCare's Facebook page and had a live Q&A for its viewers. 

The number of monkeypox cases here in the Philippines has now reached four, yet information about the virus remains largely unclear to many Filipinos. With the help of an infectious disease expert, the webinar shed light on this serious health threat, including ways on how to prevent and treat it.

Established in 1982, PhilhealthCare Incorporated is one of the country's pioneering Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) companies. The company is built on a vision to allow Filipinos enjoy a better quality of life by providing them access to world-class health services. Three decades after it was founded, PhilCare remains a pioneer and a recognized leader in Philippine HMO. Today, PhilCare sets the pace for the industry not only with the reliable in-patient and out-patient health care it provides, but also with the total wellness and healthy living it actively promotes and the technology-enabled customer experience it pushes forward.

PhilCare Prepaid Cards

Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) are becoming an increasingly important part of the health care system in the Philippines, providing insurance plans to help people, particularly those employed in the private sector, to cover health-related costs.

Employees and family members who are part of an HMO plan through their employers can save a lot in the long run. Since most medical procedures, emergency assistance, and even confinement are covered, it means more savings for employees who don't have to take out hefty fees from their own pockets.

PhilCare understands that healthcare goes a long way. We know that achieving overall wellness requires focus on many aspects of life, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. This is why they come up with health plans designed to cover the distinct health needs of Filipinos. Along with this, PhilCare is taking advantage of the rapid technological advancements to ensure the quality and ease of customer experience.

PhilCare believes that health is more than simply a mere response to sickness. Instead, it is a state of wellness, the ability to produce levels of productivity, especially in the cases of companies, and to bring the fullest potential in people. Did you know that for only P800 pesos you'll be covered for up to P50,000 that you can use in 500+ designated PhilCare accredited hospitals? 

You can now choose from PhilCare’s affordable prepaid health plans that are suited for you and your family’s needs. You can check PhilCare’s extensive prepaid plans here:

PhilCare is taking advantage of the rapid technological advancements to ensure the quality and ease of customer experience. With more than 30,000 accredited physicians, 300,000 members and growing, more than 1,400 accredited hospitals and clinics, 4 PhilCare Primary Care clinics and 7 Quick Assist Centers, PhilCare continues to be one of the most sought after brands when it comes to healthcare protection.

PhilCare premium and SME plan holders get to enjoy convenient means of finding doctors and hospitals, creating LOAs, digital consultations, and many more via the HeyPhil app. Download the HeyPhil app on Google Play or the App Store. Valid for comprehensive or premium plans only.

For more details, visit: 

JL Santiago Aquino

A millennial lifestyle blogger from Caloocan City who adores trying new things. ✨ Email: Follow @JayL_Aquino on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok & Facebook.

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