According to a report by GMA News, the Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed two more cases of Zika in the country. So far this year, there has been one other case of Zika virus. In total, there have been eight recorded cases in the Philipipines.
The two new Zika patients were living in the same house, confirmed Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial.
They initially showed minor symptoms such as fever and a mild skin rash. They, however, only minor infection and did not require hospitalization.
Confirmed patients quarantined at home
“As of this press conference, they have no more signs and symptoms,” reported Healthy Secretary Ubial. “We’re still monitoring their blood and urine to find out if they are still positive. In the meantime, they are home quarantined, so they stay at home.”
Just last week, the DOH confirmed that the sixth patient—and first recorded case this year–had caught the virus while traveling abroad.
“Because of the mosquito breeding sites that tested positive, apparently there is still a need to heighten alert on vector control in the area,” added Ubial, referring to the region of Iloilo City where the sixth patient resides.
She revealed that the two new patients lived in the same neighborhood in Iloilo.
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The DOH is also monitoring the pregnant women living in the area for possible signs and symptoms of the virus. It’s been noted that the virus causes birth defects in newborns, particularly microcephaly.
“We’re actually monitoring the pregnant women and I instructed the regional office to give them insecticide-treated bed nets so that they can use that during nighttime and then not to put it down during daytime so that mosquitos will be continuously killed by the bed nets,” shared Health Secretary Ubial.
Preventive measures heightened
Currently, 2,500 testing kits for Zika have been prepared by the DOH at their Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.
“We’re also exploring the possibility of immediate importation should we find cases [that] have been discovered to be positive,” Ubial said.
“Should we see that there’s an an increase in demand for testing, then we can also react quickly and support the department to purchase more test kits,” said Gundo Weiler, World Health Organization Country Representative, adding that they are working closely and are ready to support the DOH’s efforts, if needed.
The local Iloilo City government assured the public that they are intensifying their “search and destroy efforts” to fight the spread of the virus.
“[The] international airport in the island of Panay also has heightened alert in screening incoming travelers to identify travel-associated Zika virus,” revealed Health Secretary Ubial to GMA News.
For more information on Zika, you can refer to this infographic.
READ: Woman tests positive for Zika virus in the Philippines
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