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Philippines : On Zika virus, public urged to take same measures in addressing dengue.

Although the country has been declared Zika virus free, health officials here are urging the public to remain vigilant and undertake the same protective measures that they would against dengue virus. In a recent Kapihan sa PIA, officials from the Department of Health (DOH-7) said the ways to avoid Zika virus is not new to the public.

Dr. Eugenia Mercedes Canal, DOH-7 medical officer, said Zika virus is transmitted by the mosquito specie belonging to the Aedes family, the same mosquito that carries the dengue virus and chikungunya.Caal said the Zika virus' signs and symptoms are not specific as they could also be identified with other illnesses, such as dengue.

Symptoms of Zika include fever, conjunctivitis, and muscle pains.The prevention to be adopted include 4S strategy or search and destroy mosquito breeding sites, seek early consultation, self-protective measures, and saying no to indiscriminate fogging.

Treatment of the virus is still increasing fluid intake and taking paracetamol, just like dengue, Canal said.She said that everyone is prone to be infected once bitten. It is not true that Zika can cause infertility among men, she said.Canal said that more danger is seen on pregnant women who may transmit the virus to her unborn child.They may give birth to babies with microcephaly, a congenital condition associated with incomplete brain development and abnormal smallness of the head, Canal said.

DOH-7 Assistant Regional Director Dr. Sofia Mancao said the country is still free from the virus. In 2012, there was a case documented in Cebu City of a 15-year old boy who arrived from traveling to Europe and showed signs and symptoms of having been infected with Zika virus.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Feb 9, 2016
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