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PH lists 6th Zika victim

A 45-year-old woman from Iloilo City has been tested positive for the dreaded Zika virus, the sixth case recorded in the country, the Department of Health (DoH) revealed Monday.

In a press conference, DoH Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo disclosed that the victim, whose identity has been withheld, has no record of travel to countries where the virus has been detected.

Bayugo, however, clarified that there is still no confirmation of local transmission of the virus in the Philippines.

“As far as what we (DoH) have now, wala pa kaming evidence na merong transmission locally of this case that has been surfacing [we have no evidence that Zika has been locally-transmitted],” Bayugo told reporters in a media briefing at the Philippine Information Agency.

The woman’s spouse has yet to be tested if he too has acquired the infection since the virus can be transmitted through sexual contact, Bayugo said.

DoH has been closely monitoring the Philippines’ ports of entry to prevent the virus from reaching our shores. In this case, however, initial information reaching the health department noted that the patient has no travel history.

“I cannot say with certainty. But [based on the] initial information we got was there was no outside travel recently,” Bayugo stated. (PNA and a report from Charina Clarisse Echaluce)