Should you be more concerned about Covid-19 than Monkeypox? Experts weigh in

Published May 24, 2022, 6:48 PM

by Dhel Nazario

While the attention suddenly shifted from Covid-19 to Monkeypox, some infectious disease experts believe that the public should still be more concerned about Covid-19, citing several reasons as to why this should be the case.

(Jansen Romero / Manila Bulletin File Photo)

During a press briefing of the Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday, May 24, Dr. Marissa Alejandria, Director of the Institute of Clinical Epidemiology, University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) said that in terms of the degree of infectiousness and attack rate, Covid-19 is still much higher since the mode of transmission is respiratory.

Monkeypox on the other hand, she said, requires close contact. It’s also not the same as Covid-19 wherein you can already infect someone even without manifesting any symptoms.

“Kailangan close contact with the lesions. Hindi siya ganun kabilis ang pagkalat kumpara sa Covid (It needs close contact with the lesions. It does not spread as fast as Covid-19),” she said.

She added that Monkeypox is a reemerging disease and that experts already have data on how it’s transmitted. Alejandria explained that it reemerged only because of travel, climate change and environmental changes.

Due to this, she mentioned that the difference is that experts have information and knowledge about this disease and it’s not totally new unlike Covid-19

Meanwhile, Pediatric infectious disease expert Dr. Anna Ong-Lim also shared the same sentiments and stated that if she were to choose between the two diseases, she’d be more concerned about Covid-19 than Monkeypox.

She added that while it’s very important for the public to be aware about Monkeypox, she hopes that the increasing cases of Covid-19 won’t go unnoticed as well.

“Kasi (Because) I think that this is the point that we want to focus on. It’s very important for people to be aware na dumadami na nga ang mga kaso (that cases are increasing) and we need to do something very quickly,” Ong-Lim explained.