Monkeypox real-time PCR test now available at RITM
MANILA, Philippines — A monkeypox real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay or test is now available at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).
In an advisory dated June 20 but released on Wednesday, the RITM said they are currently optimizing a second PCR assay.
“The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine has successfully optimized its real-time PCR assay for detecting Monkeypox Virus as part of the national preparedness and response to the threat of this disease,” the advisory, signed by RITM Director Celia Carlos, said.
“The RITM technical team is currently optimizing a second PCR assay for differentiating Monkeypox Virus clade,” it added.
The institute also noted that “only cases satisfying the definition of Suspect Monkeypox and complying with all procedures for referral including documentary requirements shall be processed.”
The RITM assured the public that the Department of Health is organizing a training on the clinical approach to lesions, including its collection, handling, and transport of samples, guiding Disease Reporting Units and Epidemiology and Surveillance Units.
Monkeypox is a rare disease that is less infectious and can cause less severe illness than smallpox. Its symptoms include fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes.
To date, the Philippines has no monkeypox cases, while at least 30 nations have reported outbreaks of the disease.