The Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed that a woman from Iloilo City tested positive for the Zika virus, Philippine Star reported.
According to the news, the 45-year-old victim didn’t show any trace that she traveled to countries where the virus is rampant. The DOH Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo mentioned that even though the victim tested positive, there’s no confirmation that the virus was locally transmitted in the Philippines.
Photo by Reuters
Bayugo told the media on Monday and was quoted in the article:
“As far as what we (DOH) have now, wala pa kaming evidence na merong transmission locally of this case that been surfacing.”
The agency has been monitoring (sporadic) cases of the infection and although there were five reported cases since 2012, they weren’t enough to categorize as “outbreak.”
Although, he is alarmed that neighboring countries like Singapore have 26 confirmed Zika cases. And because of that, the DOH will exert effort to monitor overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and foreigners coming from Zika-identified countries.
Meanwhile, Dr. Eric Tayag, DOH spokesperson confirmed that the woman from Iloilo is NOT pregnant. He, however, considered the case as “highly likely” contracted the virus locally as had no history traveling in the past two weeks.
Additionally, USec Bayugo said that the woman’s spouse has yet to be tested since the virus can be transmitted through sexual contact.
First case in the Philippines
According to the reports, the first case recorded in the Philippines was in 2012. The first patient was a teenage boy from Cebu and other four subsequent cases were foreigners.
Here are the symptoms of Zika as illustrated by CNN.com:
What is Zika Virus?
As seen on the World Health Organization (WHO) website, Zika virus is characterized as:
- Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes.
- People with Zika virus disease can have symptoms including mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days.
- There is a scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Links to other neurological complications are also being investigated.
Let us keep ourselves knowledgeable about this virus.
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