Newest case locally transmitted
MANILA – (UPDATED) The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed a new case of Zika virus in the Philippines, adding that it is “highly likely” that it was locally transmitted.
In a press conference, Health official, Dr. Eric Tayag announced that a 45-year-old female patient went to a local hospital in Iloilo on August 31 after showing symptoms such as skin rashes and joint pains. She was confined in a local hospital but was discharged a day after.
Samples taken from the patient was sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Manila.
Tayag added that they had to perform several tests on the samples to confirm the presence of Zika virus.
He further explained that the newest case is highly likely to be a local transmission, given that she did not have any record of travel to other countries.
“It is highly likely that the transmission is local but we should also consider other means of transmission but at this time, it is highly (likely) that it is local rather than otherwise,” Tayag said.
Tayag said they will be sending a team to Iloilo City to check the area and to test others who exhibit symptoms of Zika virus infections.
Symptoms include skin rashes, joint pains, fever, and conjunctivitis. Pregnant women are also advised to get tested anytime.
Tayag advised households to practice necessary precautions against mosquitoes, such as using mosquito repellents, wearing clothes that prevent mosquito bites, as well as destroying breeding places of mosquitoes.
DOH Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo earlier confirmed the newest Zika case, the sixth in the country since 2012.
he first case of Zika virus in the Philippines was recorded in 2012. The virus resurfaced in the country in March, after an American tourist tested positive for the virus after visiting the Philippines.
The mosquito-borne disease is usually not life-threatening but has been linked to a rise in birth defects in other countries, where hundreds of babies have been born with unusually small heads in recent years.
DOH has also urged Filipinos to reconsider travel to Zika-affected countries in Asia, following an initial outbreak of the virus in Singapore.
excerpt from abs-cbn