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The Philippines has reported its first case of the monkeypox virus, detected earlier this month in a citizen who returned from abroad, a health ministry official said Friday.

The 31-year-old man has recovered but is in home isolation, and 10 people identified as close contacts, including three from the patient’s home, have been ordered into quarantine, said Department of Health Undersecretary Beverley Ho.

The man had previously traveled to countries with documented cases of monkeypox, Ho said, without elaborating.

Monkeypox: What you must know about the virus – and how to protect yourself

70 countries where monkeypox is not endemic have reported outbreaks of the viral disease, with confirmed cases exceeding 20,300 and the World Health Organization declaring the outbreak a global health emergency.

Tubes labeled "monkeypox virus" with positive and negative results are depicted in this illustration taken on May 23, 2022.

Tubes labeled “monkeypox virus” with positive and negative results are depicted in this illustration taken on May 23, 2022.
(REUTERS/Dado Ruvik/Illustration)

The Philippines case was confirmed positive on Thursday and close relatives showed no symptoms, Ho said.

Transmission occurs through skin lesions caused by the virus, as well as contact with body fluids, large respiratory droplets and contaminated bedding.

“Our (public health surveillance) systems are in place. But we all have to work together. People also have to be vigilant,” Ho told the briefing.

“Based on what we know about monkeypox… it’s clear that we need to be more careful about who we interact with, especially sexual, intimate relationships.”

Biden admin may soon declare monkeypox a public health emergency: report

The Ministry of Health requires people exposed to monkeypox to remain in quarantine for 14 to 21 days.

Although monkeypox is not usually fatal, the rapid spread of the virus is a concern, the president’s press secretary said.

“(President Ferdinand Marcos’) primary concern is to get information out so that people are aware,” said Trixie Cruz-Angeles.