Cebu News

Cebu’s 1st Zika case confirmed

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Department of Health in Central Visayas has confirmed there is now a Zika case in Cebu.

DOH-7 Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas said that a 22-year-old female was diagnosed in Cebu City but refused to give further details of the case as these will be provided by the DOH Central Office in Manila.

Bernadas said that the diagnosed case in Cebu was confirmed on the afternoon of September 19.

Aside from the new case in Cebu, seven others in Iloilo and one in Laguna brings the total number of cases to 9 in the Philippines. All these cases were reported by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine this September.

The DOH Central Office in Manila issued a press release yesterday that those afflicted were six females and three males aged between 9 and 49 years old.

“All mentioned cases had no history of travel to other countries within a month preceding onset of illness. All presented with skin rashes accompanied by joint pains or fever or conjunctivitis and are expected to have recovered by this time,” said Health Secretary Paulyn Rosell-Ubial in a written statement.

She also said that the DOH has sent quick response teams to gather more information about the new cases as well as to support affected areas in their drive against Zika.

To prevent and control Zika spread, DOH is encouraging people to practice the 4S Strategy, similar to how the government campaigns against the Dengue virus.

"The 4S means (1) Search and destroy mosquito breeding places, (2) Self-protection measures like using insect repellent and mosquito bed nets especially at day time, as well as the use of condom for protection against this sexually transmitted infection, (3) Seek early consultation for skin rashes and fever, joint pain or red eyes, and (4) Say Yes to fogging when there is an impending outbreak," the DOH statement read.

The DOH also advised the public to remain calm as Zika infections are not at alarming levels.

"The RITM has enough reagents to carry out tests for over 1,000 suspected cases. Likewise, the DOH has ample supply of mosquito nets and insecticides available for distribution to the local government units," they said.

“We want to continuously remind everyone to join us in preventing mosquito-borne diseases. It should start within our homes. Let us instill cleanliness in our surroundings and make it a practice in our communities. Together, let us eliminate breeding sites of mosquitoes and protect our family and community from any illnesses that they may bring. Be a Good Citizen; when you avoid bites, you avoid spreading the Zika virus to your family and the community. Let us work together to attain our vision of all for health towards health for all,” Ubial added in a statement.

The DOH also announced 24/7 hotlines via (02) 711-1001 or 711-1002 where calls may be made by the public for possible Zika cases. (FREEMAN)

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