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LGUs are urged to take preventative action against monkeypox.

Local government units (LGUs) were asked by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday to take aggressive steps to help stop the spread of monkeypox in their respective areas of control.

This occurred after the nation’s first verified case of monkeypox was disclosed last week.

In a news release, DILG Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos, Jr. said: “While everyone is assured that our public health surveillance systems are capable of detecting and confirming monkeypox cases, all LGUs are nonetheless called to carry out measures in close coordination with the Department of Health (DOH) in stemming the spread of this new virus.”

While the nation’s health officials are already closely monitoring incoming and outgoing passengers for cases of monkeypox, according to Abalos, it would be in the LGUs’ best interests to be ready for any eventuality.

“The saying “prevention is still better than treatment” holds true today. It is important for our LGUs to start preventive measures and educate their residents about monkeypox and what they can do to prevent it because they are the local authorities in charge in their areas, the official said.

The monkeypox virus, which is a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus, is what causes the zoonotic condition known as monkeypox.

According to the DOH, typical monkeypox symptoms include fever, a severe headache, swollen lymph nodes, back discomfort, muscle aches, a lack of energy, and skin eruptions.

Abalos also urged provincial governors, city/municipal mayors, and barangay health emergency response teams to make sure that their local health offices, epidemiologic and surveillance units, and emergency response teams are prepared to implement the DOH guidelines and protocols on the surveillance, screening, management, and infection control of monkeypox.

“Like what we did against Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), we should undertake preparations and make ready our manpower to ensure that monkeypox cases do not multiply in the nation,” he said.

He added that LGUs should work with private healthcare providers to ensure that those suffering symptoms are reported, closely monitor visitors from nations with documented or continuing cases of monkeypox who exhibit symptoms and promptly alert the DOH of any suspected or confirmed cases.

In order to prevent infection, he further urged the public to carefully follow the minimum public health standards (MPHS) established by the DOH, take cleaning precautions, practices excellent hand and respiratory hygiene, and avoid close contact with the sick.

This is not the first major health issue we have encountered. As a result of experiencing the worst of times during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have grown more resilient as a nation and are capable of overcoming any obstacle, including monkeypox, he remarked.

The nation’s first instance of monkeypox was a Filipino visitor who arrived last July 19. The 10 close contacts of the case are quarantined and being closely watched for symptoms, according to the DOH, and the case is already on the mend.

The DOH added that, unlike Covid-19, only health personnel and other vulnerable groups might be forced to receive the monkeypox vaccine as protection.

San Juan and QC enforce early action.

Abalos commended Quezon City and San Juan for acting swiftly to deal with potential viral outbreaks.

Following a decline in Covid-19 cases in the city, the QC government established a Quick Response Team for monkeypox contact tracing under its Epidemiology Surveillance Unit and assigned one of the city’s Covid-19 facilities for monkeypox patients.

QC health professionals from public and private hospitals and health centers, as well as from social hygiene, sundown clinics, medium-sized businesses, and micro-community organizations, will also participate in informational seminars.

Additionally, art cards and informational materials are distributed in important areas to increase public awareness about monkeypox.

Additionally, isolation rooms have already been set aside for suspected, probable, and proven cases of monkeypox in all municipal government-owned facilities, including the Novaliches District Hospital, Quezon City General Hospital, and Rosario Maclang Bautista General Hospital.

As part of its preparations, the city government of San Juan put health precautions against monkeypox into place, ran educational programs, and designated facilities for the isolation of monkeypox cases.

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