The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa, Manila confirmed and the Philippines Department of Health (DOH) reported today about six additional locally acquired, or  autochthonous Zika virus infections, bringing the total in the country to nine.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

The six new cases include one from Cebu City, four from Iloilo City and one from Laguna province (CALABARZON).

“All mentioned cases had no history of travel to other countries within a month preceding onset of illness. All presented with skin rashes accompanied by joint pains or fever or conjunctivitis and are expected to have recovered by this time.” Health Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial said.

Dr. Alma Corpin, officer-in-charge of the Cebu City Health Department (CHD) says the Cebu City case was in a 22-year-old woman. “The most recent reported cases earlier were in Iloilo City and now it’s here. Prevention is always important”, Dr Corpin stated.

Of the total 9 cases this year, six were females; ages of these 9 cases ranged from 9 years old to 49 years old.

The DOH has focused its efforts to prevent and control ZIKA spread through the 4S Strategy. The 4S means (1) Search and destroy mosquito breeding places, (2) Self-protection measures like using insect repellent and mosquito bed nets especially at day time, as well as the use of condom for protection against this sexually transmitted infection, (3) Seek early consultation for skin rashes and fever, joint pain or red eyes, and (4) Say Yes to fogging when there is an impending outbreak.