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Philippine Zika cases rise to 17

Two more cases of Zika virus infection were recorded in the country, bringing to 17 the total number of cases monitored this year, the Department of Health (DoH) announced yesterday.

In a press conference, Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial said the two new cases are both from Metro Manila.

“As of October 13, we have now 17 cases reported. Still 12 (cases) from Iloilo City and surrounding areas. One in Muntinlupa, one in Cebu, Antipolo City (has) one, and we have one case from Mandaluyong (which is a) new case and one new case in Makati City,” she said.

Zika infection is characterized by fever lasting for two to seven days, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, pain behind the eyes, and vomiting.

Though considered a mild disease, it became a big health concern because it can cause a birth defect called microcephaly wherein a baby’s head is smaller than ordinary.

Good thing, while one of the two cases is a female, Ubial disclosed that the patient is not pregnant.

“Case 16th is 27-year-old female (from Mandaluyong). Case 17th is 42-year-old male (from Makati). (The female patient is) not pregnant,” she said.

When asked if the rise in the number of Zika cases is already alarming, the health chief said that it is possible that the virus has been in the country before the outbreak in Singapore. (Charina Clarisse L. Echaluce)

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