• ‘Be vigilant vs Zika’ – RED CROSS

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    THE Philippine Red Cross on Wednesday reminded the public to remain vigilant against the Zika virus by preventing carrier mosquitoes from breeding, following a report that an American woman has been tested positive for the virus after a four-week visit to the country. PRC chairman Richard Gordon said it can be done by regularly cleaning surroundings at home and in the communities and discard possible breeding grounds of mosquitoes. “Make prevention everyone’s responsibility. Join or initiate community efforts to clean your surroundings and remove possible breeding grounds of mosquitoes,” Gordon said. He added that the Red Cross remains ready to provide blood in case it would be needed, in the event of a Zika outbreak.

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    1. Mr Alcober, until the day when an antiviral against Zika can be distributed, and used appropriately in the Phil, we will see a progression of congenital neurological disorders slowly expand outside of areas endemic to Dengue fever (Zika is related to Dengue, and shares mosquito vectors). 80% of those infected with Zika have mild symptoms. As such, they do not see doctors. The only way to find out how extensive the problem is, will be to do antibody testing of all Dengue-endemic areas. We have a shortage of testing kits. I believe that an appeal to our 11 billionaires to purchase kits for the govt would be one means of help. After testing, giving out free contraception to the women of the endemic areas would be the correct epidemiological response. The converse unfortunately applies: Failure to test, and provide contraception is inappropriate from a epidemiological standpoint, irresponsible from Govt standpoint, inhumane, and unchristian-like from a Filipino. We should not let the hypocrisy of those in Govt, whose women-folk use contraception, dictate terms to the poor of the Philippines.