DOH confirms first case of Zika virus in PH

DOH confirms first case of Zika virus in PH
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A WOMAN from Iloilo City tested positive for the Zika virus, the first confirmed local transmission in the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) reported on Monday, September 5.

The patient, which identity is withheld is reportedly married and is in her mid-40s. The Zika-positive woman tested positive after a urine test.

Health Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo, in a report, said that the woman’s case is also the 6th laboratory-confirmed case of Zika in the Philippines since 2012.

Local transmission, according to DOH Undersecretary Eric Tayag means "when you get the infection now, you had no history of travel to an affected country."

Tayag added that a team of doctors are deployed in Iloilo to look for other possible Zika cases.

He also took the chance to clarify that the health department does not require isolation or quarantine for suspected cases. 

"It's just monitoring their signs and symptoms,"he said adding that if one is experiencing symptoms like skin rash, joint pains or conjunctivitis, one must visit a health facility to collect the right specimens.

According to Tayag, the concern with Zika is the transmission of then virus from the mother to her baby and it can be transmitted through sexual transmission.

Zika, according to DOH resembles a light case of the flu, is transmitted by mosquito species found in tropical and sub-tropical regions: Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, or tiger mosquitoes. 

The virus is strongly suspected of causing birth defects such as microcephaly and other brain deformities in newborns.

With this, the DOH urged pregnant women to avoid travel to Singapore, where 215 Zika cases have been reported also they are strictly monitoring overseas Filipino workers and travellers who are coming in from 5 Asian countries: Singapore, Malaysia, Hongkong, Indonesia, and Thailand. AJRSP