Monkeypox less fatal than Covid-19—expert

Published August 6, 2022, 3:42 PM

by Analou de Vera

This undated electron microscopic (EM) handout image provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention depicts a monkeypox virion, obtained from a clinical sample associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. It was a thin section image from a human skin sample. On the left were mature, oval-shaped virus particles, and on the right were the crescents, and spherical particles of immature virions. Cynthia S. Goldsmith / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / AFP

Monkeypox is rarely fatal compared to Covid-19, a dermatologist said.

“Ang monkeypox po hindi katulad ng Covid-19 na talagang nakamamatay (Monkeypox is not like Covid-19 which is really deadly),” said Dr. Winlove Mojica, a clinical associate professor at the Philippine General Hospital’s Section of Dermatology, on Friday, Aug. 5.

“Mababa po ang chances na pwede tayong mamatay sa monkeypox (The chances of dying from monkeypox is low),” he added.

Monkeypox’s case fatality rate (CFR) is around five deaths for every 10,000 cases, the Department of Health (DOH) recently said.

“Recent figures place the case count worldwide at around 22,000, with 10 deaths, giving a CFR of around five deaths out of every 10,000 cases,” the DOH said, citing data from the World Health Organization.

“Usually yung mga recorded na tao na namatay ng monkeypox sa ibang bansa, meron pong pamamaga ng utak… or may affected na ibang organs pero mababa po yung chance na ganoon (Usually, the recorded monkeypox deaths in other countries experienced brain swelling or other organs were affected. But the chance of that is low),” said Mojica.

However, Mojica said that this disease can be “worrisome” as monkeypox can leave a scar in the skin.

“Ang worrisome sa monkeypox at ito ay yung comment ng publiko ay yung nagkakaroon siya ng peklat pagkatapos. Unfortunately, karaniwan sa monkeypox sa mukha siya nakikita (What’s worrisome about monkeypox—and this is based on comments from the public— is that it can leave scars. Unfortunately, monkeypox is usually seen on the face)— so, [it] can be very devastating for a person,” he said.

This can also cause financial burden to the patient due to the length of the isolation period.

“Also, dahil at least three weeks yung isolation, malaking impact ito sa ikabubuhay ng isang tao dahil yung iba, arawan yung trabaho nila, so anong gagawin nila kung hindi sila makapagtrabaho for three weeks (the isolation period is at least three weeks and this can have a big impact on a person’s livelihood, especially if they are relying on daily earnings),” he said.

The Philippines reported its first case of the monkeypox virus last July 29, involving a 31-year-old Filipino national who arrived from abroad last July 19.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the country’s first monkeypox case is set to complete isolation on Saturday. However, the patient’s close contacts are still under observation and are required to complete the 21-day isolation.