(MNS Photo)

MANILA, Aug 3 (Mabuhay) — Anybody is at risk of contracting the monkeypox viral disease, even if not engaged in sexual activities, an infectious disease expert said on Tuesday.

During the Laging Handa public briefing, Dr. Rontgene Solante said despite focus on the risk groups composed of gay, bisexuals, and males having sexual interaction with the same sex, they should not be discriminated against and stigmatized.

“For one, monkeypox is not considered a sexually transmitted infection. It’s just that the current mode of transmission is through close intimate contact. Kapag sinabing close intimate contact, kasama na diyan iyong matagal ang pagsama sa isang room. Pangalawa, iyong puwedeng naghalikan or puwedeng nagtalik. Pero hindi siya considered as sexually transmitted infection (When we say close intimate contact, that includes being in the same room for a long time. Second, those who may have kissed or had sex. But it is not considered a sexually transmitted infection),” Solante said.

The most common mode of transmission of monkeypox, Solante said, is through respiratory droplets that may happen while talking to an infected person.

A person may also catch the disease by touching the skin lesions of a person with monkeypox.

“Pwede rin iyong mahawakan mo iyong mga skin lesion ‘no, especially iyong mga fresh and iyong may mga tubig-tubig na mga skin lesion. Mahawakan mo iyan at hahawak ka rin sa bibig mo or sa mata. Pwedeng papasok iyan or kung mayroon kang open wound (If you touch skin lesions, especially those that are fresh and those with watery skin lesions, if you touch them and then touch your mouth or eyes, that can enter or if you have an open wound),” Solante said.

He said another mode of transmission is through clothing or any belonging of a patient with monkeypox, such as beddings, where the virus may live and be transmitted by touching the infected object and then touching the eyes, mouth, or any open wound.

When touching objects used by a monkeypox patient, it is important to wear gloves, and immediately wash the hands.

The virus will die if objects or the hands are thoroughly washed or disinfected.

“Once they are washed, they will also be free of the virus. Madaling matanggal ang virus with proper disinfection and then washing (The virus can be easily removed with proper disinfection and then washing),” Solante said.

He assured that while monkeypox is not fatal in most cases and may heal by itself, there may be rare complications that may lead to death.

Some of the rare complications are encephalitis or brain infection; pneumonia especially for immunocompromised individuals; superimposed skin bacterial infection; and blindness. (MNS)

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