With the announcement of two additional autochthonous, or locally acquired Zika virus cases Friday in the Philippines, the Department of Health now puts the case tally at 19 this year.

Image/Howard the Duck
Image/Howard the Duck

Health Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo said the two new cases are from Region IV-A or CALABARZON, a forty-something woman and a boy. The pregnancy status of the woman is not disclosed.

The bulk of the cases (12) are from Western Visayas, three from the National Capital Region, three from CALABARZON and one from Central Visayas.

Earlier, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle released a Pastoral Guidance that will strengthen the Department of Health’s campaign to fight against the spread of Zika Virus.

Zika Virus Disease is primarily transmitted via mosquito bites. The Aedes aegypti is responsible for spreading Zika virus and also Dengue and Chikungunya viruses. In Brazil and other countries, pregnant women who got infected at anytime during their pregnancy have increased risk of giving birth to babies with congenital defects affecting the brain (microcephaly). Sexual transmission was also reported as another means of getting the Zika virus.