- Two more cases of Zika virus were confirmed by the Department of Health (DOH)
- According to Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial, the patients are in Mandaluyong City and Makati City
- 15 cases in the country were previously reported, making the total number of 17 confirmed patients
Two cases of the feared Zika virus in Makati and Mandaluyong have been confirmed by the Department of Health (DOH) on Friday, Oct. 14.
According to Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial, the two new cases is a 27 year old female from Mandaluyong City and a male aged 42 from Makati City. The female patient, however, is not bearing a child. Both patients were reported to have shown symptoms of the virus including rashes, fever, and conjunctivitis or red eyes.
The previously confirmed patients in the country, which was then 15 in number, were not hospitalized and have already recovered according to Ubial. She added that the cases were all transmitted locally.
With 17 as the current total number of Zika virus cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that there would be a possible "endemicity of this virus in the Western Pacific regions” during its regional meeting with DOH.
Ubial said: “It is different from the virus that was discovered in South Africa, African region, as well as South America. It is presumed to be endemic in the Western Pacific region.”
Apart from the two recent cases, 12 patients are in Ilioilo, one patient are each in Muntinlupa, Cebu, and Antipolo.
The Zika virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito causing birth defects to babies, making their heads smaller than the normal size.
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According to DOH, it is possible hat the strain has already been present in the country even before the reported outbreaks in Singapore and South America.
“We’re still trying to confirm that this particular virus was already circulating in the Philippines, but we have not tested for it before. It was only tested when the outbreak in Africa and South America just reported globally, so we started testing for Zika,” Ubial said.
Aedes aegypti is also the man vector for prevalent viruses in the Philippines such as dengue, and chikungunya.