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10 new Zika cases in PH

The Department of Health (DoH) recorded 10 new cases of Zika virus infection, bringing to 33 the total number of cases in the Philippines as of November 13 this year.

“There are 10 new Zika cases. So we have a total of 33 cases. We have 12 in Iloilo, four in Bacoor, three in Mandaluyong, three in Calamba, two in Antipolo, two in Las Pinas, two in Muntinlupa, one in Cebu, one in Quezon City, one in Makati, one in Caloocan, and one in Manila,” Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial said in an interview yesterday.

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.

At present, there are only four regions in the Philippines where cases have been documented.

“We have only four regions that are affected, although we got samples nationwide. Ang pinakamataas po is Region 6 with 12, followed by NCR with 11, [Region] 4-A with nine, and Region 7 with one,” the DoH chief noted.

Despite being a mild disease, Zika infection has become a big concern because of microcephaly, a birth defect being linked to it wherein a baby’s head is smaller than ordinary.

This year, only one pregnant woman had the infection, a 22-year-old from Cebu City who immediately recovered from the virus. She is currently being monitored by health officials.

“Okay pa rin siya at mino-monitor namin siya. Nakadalawang ultrasound,” Ubial said.

The woman is expected to give birth in January 2017. (Charina Clarisse L. Echaluce)

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