“Well, now our discussions are ongoing. I think we have mentioned it in our previous press conferences, we are working with the US government to secure the vaccines,” Ho said.
“There is not a lot that is available in the market also, that it is only a select population group that will have to be vaccinated. Again, it is not like COVID that all of us need to be vaccinated,” she added.
Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles, meanwhile, said President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. wants to increase public awareness about monkeypox and the measures being taken by the government to prevent its spread.
“First of all, it’s only one case, number one. Number two, as you can see, it doesn’t affect the entire population. Number three, this is not like COVID that can be spread by air very easily and could possibly be fatal. This is not particularly fatal, but it is of concern,” Cruz-Angeles said.
“His primary concern was to get the information out so that people will be aware, but also to be aware that the systems of the DOH (Department of Health) are in place and that this is not the same as COVID,” she added.
The DOH said monkeypox is a virus transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or contaminated materials.
A viral infection resembling smallpox and first detected in humans in 1970, monkeypox is less dangerous and contagious than smallpox, which was eradicated in 1980.
The first symptoms can include a fever, headaches, sharp muscle pains, fatigue, a rash, as well as swollen and painful lymph nodes, according to an Agence France-Presse explainer.
The World Health Organization (WHO) on July 23 declared the monkeypox outbreak — which has affected nearly 16,000 people in 72 countries, according to a tally by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — to be a global health emergency, the highest alarm it can sound.
Ninety-five percent of cases have been transmitted through sexual activity, according to a study of 528 people in 16 countries published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Overall, 98% of infected people were gay or bisexual men, and around a third were known to have visited sex-on-site venues such as sex parties or saunas within the previous month. —KBK/RSJ, GMA News