Case in Western Visayas not Zika-related: DOH
The Department of Health (DOH) said Saturday a newborn baby girl in Western Visayas found to have microcephaly was not caused by the Zika virus.
Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) confirmed this.
“We have confirmation from the RITM received yesterday afternoon. After using Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT PCR), it is negative!” said Ubial in a text message.
The health department said the mother did not show symptoms of Zika virus throughout her pregnancy and gave birth by normal delivery.
However, upon the birth of the child, the health department said the baby's head is smaller than usual and that she was born with encephalocoele, a rare type of birth defect of the neural tube that affects the brain, specifically in the area between her eyes.
Zika virus is usually transmitted through the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes as well as sexual contact. Zika infection is usually asymptomatic but has been linked to congenital malformation, such as microcephaly.
Ubial said there are a total of 57 Zika cases in the country as of February 2.
The National Capital Region has the most number of cases with 20; followed by Calabarzon with 18. DMS