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DOH probes data release on 4th monkeypox case

Rhodina Villanueva - The Philippine Star
DOH probes data release on 4th monkeypox case
A handout picture made available by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) on June 22, 2022 shows a collage of monkeypox rash lesions at an undisclosed date and location.
UK Health Security / Released via AFP

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) is looking into the fourth case of monkeypox detected in the country after the patient’s personal details were uploaded on social media yesterday.

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said the online publication of the patient’s personal information is in violation of the person’s privacy.

“Pictures of the patient were posted on social media. This is a clear violation of our law on data privacy and Republic Act 11332, which prohibits and penalizes the unauthorized disclosure of confidential information pertaining to a patient’s medical condition,” Vergeire said.

The DOH has detected the country’s fourth case of monkeypox in a 25-year-old Filipino.

The DOH said it could not confirm a report that the patient infected with monkeypox was from Iloilo.

The department said the patient has no documented travel history to or from any country with confirmed cases of monkeypox.

“We tried tracing where the pictures came from and we were able to track the location. We have instructed the DOH regional director to investigate this,” Vergeire said.

“We are having this case investigated. We will act within our mandate and within the bounds of laws so that people should respect the privacy of a person, especially those who are suffering from illnesses,” she added.

The DOH said the patient has been admitted to an isolation facility.

Vergeire said they have yet to confirm if the fourth case is a local transmission.

“We cannot confirm yet if it is a local case. That is why we are trying to backtrace and verify information so that we can establish the source of infection,” she said.      The DOH said 14 close contacts of the patient have been identified, with six of them placed under quarantine and one is in the isolation facility taking care of the infected patient.

The health care worker who interacted with the patient during consultation is undergoing self-monitoring, according to Vergeire.

She said the patient’s close contacts have not exhibited symptoms of monkeypox.

DOH

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