Philippines reports first Zika case on pregnant woman
A 22-year-old from Cebu found to be positive with the Zika virus became the country’s first case of a pregnant woman who has the virus.
In a press conference in Pasig City, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said the woman is 19 weeks pregnant with her first child.
“We conducted an initial ultrasound test to check for fetal abnormalities, particularly in the central nervous system. None were detected,” said Ubial.
She said the absence of any fetal abnormalities, for the moment, is slightly good news considering Zika is being linked to microcephaly, a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than ordinary.
“It (abnormalities) can happen at any stage actually. But, usually, the risk is higher in the first trimester,” said Ubial.
Ubial said the health department will conduct “ frequent check-ups, which is every two weeks.” .
The health department has reported 12 Zika cases this year, with 10 coming from Iloilo in western Visayas and two from Cebu and Muntinlupa City.
“The previously reported case from Laguna was traced to Muntinlupa upon verification,” noted Ubial.
The 12 confirmed cases are eight percent of the 150, who showed symptoms and were tested for possible Zika virus.
The health department reported they have confirmed three more cases of Zika virus in Iloilo.
Ubial said two more cases in Iloilo City and another in Oton, Iloilo have been found positive with the Zika virus based on the results from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).
“These cases did not have history of travel to an affected country a month prior to the onset of their illness and are considered as local transmissions caused by mosquito bites,” said Ubial.
She added the new cases showed symptoms of the Zika virus, specifically skin rashes and fever, but have since recovered.
Ubial said the spread of Zika cases in Iloilo has prompted the local government to conduct indoor residual spraying with fogging in affected and high risk areas.
The government is not yet recommending a travel advisory to Iloilo, especially for pregnant women, Ubial said, DMS