The Department of Health-Regional Office VI (DOH-ROVI) is working closely with the local government unit of Iloilo City to intensify surveillance and mosquito control measures over a confirmed case of the Zika virus involving a 45-year-old woman from Jaro district.
The DOH-ROVI will also assist patients categorized as Zika suspects (skin rashes with fever, conjunctivitis and joint pains) for confirmatory laboratory tests at the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Metro Manila.
Regional epidemiologist Dr. Glen Alonsabe and a team of medical experts from the DOH-Central Office and RITM were in Iloilo City on Tuesday to further assist the regional and local-government teams in-depth epidemiological investigation that would determine the source of the vector and the scope and magnitude of affected population.
Vector-control measures such as fogging will be conducted in targeted sites using insecticide approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to the DOH officials, the Zika virus is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes which also transmit dengue and chikungunya.
Almost 90 percent of patients do not manifest symptoms of the virus.
What made the Zika virus a major concern is its effects on babies born to infected pregnant women to suffer neurologic defects such as microcephaly and brain deformities.
Strong community efforts on clean surrounding, including destruction of mosquito breeding places, is being pushed by the DOH.
Alonsabe said the Zika virus is not so virulent unlike dengue and can be treated as ordinary influenza by paracetamol against the usual fever that lasts from five to seven days.
The victim must take a rest and not do strenuous activities.