Davao City Health Office (CHO) Head Dr. Ashley Lopez said on Monday, July 25, that it is not impossible for monkeypox to enter the Philippines following the rise of cases in other countries.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared monkeypox as a public health emergency of international concern on July 23, 2022 after cases rose to 16,000 in 75 countries.

During a radio interview with Davao City Disaster Radio, Lopez said it may reach the Philippines too after some Southeast Asian countries, particularly Thailand, Singapore, and India logged cases.

“It’s because of our current travel requirements, open man ta (we are open). The economy is open, the travel opportunities are open so dili gyud na (it’s really not) imposible,” he said.

Despite this, Lopez assured that the city government, through CHO, already has a contingency plan against monkeypox aside from intensifying their monitoring.

“We have already formulated and organized our Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases (ERID) Office. This is the responsible unit that handles all these kinds of outbreak. Andam na ta ana, kung unsa man mahitabo (We are prepared in case whatever happens),” Lopez said.

However, the CHO head warned against the manner of transmission of monkeypox, which he described as complicated since it can be through bodily fluids or airborne transmission.

“Covid-19 man gud airborne, respiratory droplets (Covid-19 is through airborne and respiratory droplets). Kaning monkeypox, bodily fluids ‘no, dili lamang sa laway, dili lang sa pag-ubo og paghatsing, pwede pud ni makuha sa (The monkeypox is through bodily fluids, not just saliva through cough and sneeze but also though) blood transfusion, transplacental transmission or even sexual contact,” Lopez said.

With this development, Lopez said it is important for the masses to make necessary precautions. ICM