An unidentified American woman has reportedly contracted Zika virus while staying in the Philippines in January, according to local media reports.
In a press briefing Sunday, Philippines Health Secretary Janette Garin said that the unidentified American woman stayed in the Philippines for four weeks and apparently developed symptoms in her last week before returning to the US.
“We were informed that shortly after returning home to the US, an evidence of Zika virus infection was detected from the patient,” Garin said in a statement.
“Currently, we are coordinating with US-CDC for the profile of the patient, including information on places she visited in the Philippines,” Garin said without giving details of the patient.
“Despite reported case, there is no outbreak of Zika virus in the Philippines. There is no epidemic. The public should not panic,” she said.
In the Philippines, a documented case of Zika virus infection was traced in Cebu City in 2012. A 15 year old boy was reported with symptoms of fever, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, muscle pain, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. The said patient recovered fully after 3 weeks of continuous bed rest and medication. After yielding negative from tests on dengue and Chikungunya, the patient’s serum was tested positive for Zika Virus.
Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and the Philippines have reported or indication of autochthonous Zika virus transmission in Asia.