RITM eyed as main isolation facility for monkeypox cases

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) will be the main isolation facility for suspect, probable, and confirmed monkeypox cases, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Thursday.

In a Viber message to reporters, the DOH indicated that its Field Implementation and Coordination Team (FICT) and the One Hospital Command Center (OHCC) are working on the specific designation of isolation facilities with the priority to ensure compliance with requirements.

“According to DOH Department Memorandum No. 2022-0220 Interim Technical Guidelines for the Implementation of Monkeypox Surveillance Screening, Management, and Infection Control, during the activation of Doors 1 and 2 of DOH’s 4-Door Alert System, the RITM is hereby designated as the main isolation facility for suspect, probable, and confirmed monkeypox cases,” the department noted.

On Wednesday, the health department announced it would carry out a four-door strategy, which is the framework of the National Emergency Operational Response Plan to prevent and control emerging infectious diseases.

The FICT and the OHCC shall designate the regional isolation facilities and hospitals catering to other international points of entry.

All government hospitals shall prepare an area for isolation and treatment facilities when Doors 3 and 4 are activated.

“Cases shall be immediately isolated in a private room, preferably with negative air pressure, until signs and symptoms have been resolved,” the DOH said in the message.

Earlier, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the government is closely monitoring global developments about monkeypox as it intensifies the country’s border screening.

Health experts say monkeypox is not deadly and its spread is easier to prevent compared to Covid-19.

Vaccines against smallpox may be used to avoid monkeypox and there are proven medications.

Monkeypox starts with fever, then general body aches, malaise, and muscle ache with the first symptoms similar to influenza.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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