Zika victim in Cebu 5 months pregnant
(The Freeman) - September 23, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Department of Health disclosed yesterday that the country now has its first case of a pregnant woman diagnosed with a Zika virus. The woman is a 22-year-old from Cebu. 

Health officials said the woman is five months into her pregnancy. The test results, however, show that the baby is healthy and is not showing any signs of abnormality like microcephaly.

Dr. Van Philip Baton, regional medical program coordinator for emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, said that the female Zika victim was still 19th week pregnant when tested with Zika.  The victim is now undergoing her scheduled visits to her Obgyne for the regular pre-natal tests. Baton said that before she was discharged from the hospital after complaining of fever due to Zika, the pregnant woman underwent an ultrasound procedure and the findings were all "normal."

 The personal Obgyne of the woman was advised by Baton to continuously check the baby's condition during visits as there may be chances that the complications could develop in the later part of the pregnancy.

 During visits to the doctor, the woman will undergo ultrasound to check on the baby.

 "But just the same, we monitor the baby kay pwede at a later date pa mo-appear ang complications like microcephaly," said Baton in a text message.

The doctor also explained that Zika among Asians have very low complications and the pregnant woman in Cebu is also showing mild symptoms of the virus. In fact, there is no case yet of microcephaly in Asia.

 A United States study also show that two to 12 babies out of 10,000 births is the rate of microcephaly, said Baton.

 So far, the findings of the DOH show that the woman and the baby in her womb seemed to be normal and unaffected by any complications from Zika. The woman appears to be just like any other pregnant woman, said the government doctor.

 "Zika infection does not need admission. She was admitted due to fever. Being pregnant, she was admitted for work up on the fever. The check ups are on regular pre-natal visits or as per findings of the OB. Apparently, she is healthy and with normal findings on the tests," said Baton.

He said there is a very low chance of the baby developing complications from Zika.

The pregnant woman is the first Zika case in Cebu this year although the DOH-7 was able to diagnose a case in 2012 from a man who came from Europe.  DOH officials said they are looking into a transmission from local mosquito carriers because the woman does not have a history of travel.

 DOH-7 director Jaime Bernadas earlier urged the public to clean up their surroundings of possible breeding grounds of mosquitoes such as canals and stagnant water containers. The regional director even said to fear the fatal dengue virus instead of the Zika virus. (FREEMAN)

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