Philippines: 16-year-old pregnant girl confirmed with Zika infection

Health authorities say there are 33 recorded cases of Zika in the country as of November 13.

Zika virus spreads
The larvae of Aedes aegyti mosquito are seen inside a laboratory in the Ministry of Health in San Jose, Costa Rica January 27, 2016. The Health Ministry confirmed on Tuesday the first case of the Zika virus in the country, according to local media. Reuters

A 16-year-old pregnant girl from Las Piñas City was found infected with Zika virus, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Wednesday, the latest victim of the mosquito-borne disease in the Philippines.

DOH spokesperson Eric Tayag said in his Twitter account that the girl, who is on the 32nd week of her pregnancy, showed symptoms of skin rashes and fever. She has yet to undergo the ultrasound scan.

Yahoo News reported that DOH Secretary Paulyn Ubial said "since it's a third trimester pregnancy the risk is very small for microcephaly."

The authorities also said that the DOH would be closely monitoring the patient as Zika virus has been responsible for microcephaly, a condition wherein the baby's head is smaller than ordinary.

This is the second case of a pregnant woman being infected by Zika. The first case came from Cebu. The pregnant woman from Cebu has already undergone two ultrasounds and showed no abnormalities in her pregnancy.

"She's okay, she's still being monitored. She has undergone two ultrasounds and so far, still normal. She's expected to give birth in January," Ubial told Philippine Daily Inquirer.

On Tuesday, 10 new Zika cases were reported bringing the total number of Zika cases to 33 in the Philippines. The 16-year-old pregnant girl was among those 10 recorded cases.

Twelve out of these 33 cases were recorded in Iloilo; four were recorded in Bacoor, Cavite; three cases each in Mandaluyong and Calamba, Laguna. Antipolo, Las Piñas and Muntinlupa recorded two cases each and one each in Cebu, Quezon City, Makati, Caloocan, and Manila.

Reports show that Region 6 (Western Visayas) has the highest number of recorded Zika cases in the Philippines. It is followed by the National Capital Region, Region 4-A (Calabarzon), and Region 7 (Central Visayas).

Ubial also added that although only these four regions have recorded cases of Zika virus but the DOH will continue to monitor samples from regional offices across the nation with the help of local government units and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

The DOH urged the members of the public to do massive cleanup activities in all their localities to get rid of mosquitoes which could not only cause Zika but dengue and chikungunya as well.