Sixth Zika Case Confirmed In Philippines

The Philippine health department confirmed on Monday that a 45-year-old woman from central Philippine city of Iloilo has tested positive for Zika virus, the sixth case recorded in the country.

Health Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo told a news conference that the Zika-infected woman, whom he did not identify, has no history of travel abroad, adding that she probably acquired the virus locally.

He also said the disease does not pose a public health risk at this point, adding that the department has not confirmed any local transmission.

He said this could be a case of sporadic transmission. The woman’s husband has yet to be tested for the virus, he added.

“As of now we have no confirmation of any local transmission,” Bayugo said. Nevertheless, he said the government is closely monitoring the situation.

The health department has monitored at least five Zika-infection cases since 2012.

“These (five cases) did not convert into an outbreak. And we hope that this (new) one is sporadic that will not translate (into an outbreak) similar to what is being experienced elsewhere,” Bayugo said.

The Philippine government over the weekend issued an advisory, urging Filipino travellers “to take extra precautions” while staying in Zika-infected countries.

The Philippine Bureau of Quarantine is also continues to screen arriving passengers for signs of fever, one of the symptoms of Zika-infected person.

It has urged all arriving passengers to fit-out a health declaration checklist upon arrival and to report or visit any government health facility if they become ill with unexplained fever within seven days from arrival.

Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial has also advised pregnant women to avoid travel to countries with reported Zika case and transmission, adding that it is very risky for pregnant women to get infected with the Zika virus as this has been linked to birth of babies with severe brain and other neurological defects including microcephaly.

Zika virus is acquired through bites from infected Aedes aegypti mosquitos, the same type of mosquito that spreads dengue and chikungunya. Common symptoms include fever, skin rash, joint pains and conjunctivitis, the advisory said.

There is no available vaccine to prevent the mosquito-borne virus. But medial experts said the symptoms of Zika virus could be treated with common pain and fever medicine, rest and enough water intake.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *