Zika Virus arrives in Philippines:: Infects pregnant woman in Cebu and 12 others

Zika Virus is now in the Philippines

Photo courtesy: pixabay and shutterstock

This world is becoming a very difficult place to live in; every other day, we hear of a new disease that causes devastation and death. Whether it is Europe, the Americas or any other continent, the poorest of the populace are the most vulnerable to the attack of these dangerous viruses.
When I first heard of it, I wondered as to when the dreaded disease is going to move into the Philippines, India and other poorer countries. And, the thought followed that it will be a big relief the day I hear of the discovery of a cure for the dreaded Zika Virus.
About Zika
Like other killer diseases which are closely associated with this virus, it is a silent killer and mosquitoes that are active during the day carry this virus. Unfortunately, this virus that targets unborn babies is now in the Philippines too. It was on the cards and just a matter of time before it arrives here.

The Department of Health (DOH) recently made an announcement that the first case appeared in Cebu area. They had come across the case of a pregnant young woman infected by this virus.

Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial mentioned in a press briefing that the case pertains to a pregnant 22-year old woman. She is 19 weeks pregnant and is expecting her first child.

She also informed the press in her press briefing on Monday that the health authorities detected another 12 cases of Zika in the country this year. All the infected got the infection locally and did not travel outside the Philippines.

Hence, it was obvious that they suffered mosquito bites within the Philippines. They did not leave the country in the recent past, she said. It is the first case detected in which the infected patient is pregnant.

The medical authorities promptly inspected her brain for ant abnormalities but the ultrasound did not show any abnormalities. The nervous system deteriorates in cases where the infection is Zika virus. The test did not reveal any adverse effects of the virus..

Microcephaly afflicts babies of pregnant women infected by the Zika virus. The condition is a deformation of the head and the brain which are smaller in size.
Health warnings
Scientists working on this virus issued a warning that there is likely to be an epidemic soon. The absence of any known cure is the main reason. Eradication of this killer disease requires the development of a vaccine post-haste.

An epidemic of massive proportions is looming on the masses that are exposed to the menace of the mosquitoes. The warning came about this month.

Ubial is elated that the pregnant woman’s fetus did not reveal any defects in the fetus. There appeared to be no discernible effects though they may appear at any point particularly in the first trimester.

The pregnant lady is to be under close surveillance at a good medical facility. This will continue till the end of her pregnancy. Starting immediately, the Department of Health introduced a schedule of once every two weeks.
WHO monitors
The World Health Organization (WHO) is also monitoring the spread of such diseases worldwide. As such, the representative of the WHO in the Philippines, Gundo Weiler explained that in a majority of cases, the risk factor maximized if the infection of Zika took hold quite early in the pregnancy.

That does not mean that the risks of the ailment were not serious if the infection took hold at later stages. Consequences depend on each individual case.

With another three cases cropping up recently, the total numbers of cases affected by the Zika virus have grown to 12. The Department of Health confirmed that these three cases came from Iloilo City and Oton, which is located nearby in the area.
The breakup
Of the 12 cases confirmed by the Department of Health, the cases hail from the following regions:

1. Central Visayas,
2. Western Visayas, and
3. Metro Manila.
Their ages range from 55 years to 9 years; there are 8 females and 4 males. An earlier case from Laguna actually turned out to be from Muntinlupa.

Ubial of WHO then went on to explain the symptoms of the Zika virus infection:
• The skin developed rashes in all the cases,
• Fever,
• Pains in the muscles,
• Joint pains,
• Redness of the eyes,
• Conjunctivitis with no discharge from the eyes.

The medical authorities declared that the illness of these patients is at an end, she stated.

End of part 1

Umrao singh umraoz.wordpress.com

Tuesday, 27 September 2016
Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson www.thephilippinepride.com