ILOILO CITY: The Department of Health (DOH) and the city health office here are working overtime to stem the spread of Zika virus, which showed a rapid increase in the number of cases in just two weeks.
With four confirmed cases in Barangay Benedicto, Jaro district, the disease has afflicted seven persons, including one in San Juan in Molo district and two in Santo Niño, Arevalo as reported by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) this September.
DOH Undersecretary Eric Tayag on Wednesday said there are nine confirmed cases in the country this year that include seven in Iloilo City, one in Cebu City and one in Laguna province.
He added that the first confirmed case in Jaro, that of a 45-year-old woman, was reported as the sixth in the country, while the other patients were reported to have recovered last year.
All mentioned cases had no history of travel to other countries within a month preceding onset of the illness.
All cases had skin rashes accompanied by joint pains, fever or conjunctivitis but, are expected to have recovered by this time, Tayag said.
The Health department has sent quick response teams to gather more information about the new cases as well as to support affected areas in the drive against Zika.
Tayag reiterated that the best antidote to the Zika is cleanliness of surroundings and demolition of mosquito breeding places through the “4S” strategy.
Meanwhile, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog assured residents that city health officials are in control of the semingly rapid spread of dengue fever and Zika virus in some villages here.
He said there is no need yet to declare the city under a state of calamity even over reports that dengue cases reached over 1,000 as of September 15, 2016, with three deaths.
Mabilog said the city is ready for any eventuality as assessment of the situation is being done by the city health office and DOH regional office.
In the province of Iloilo, dengue cases numbered 6,808 with 15 deaths as of September 10, 2016 or a 406-percent increase from the 2015 record of 1,348 cases with seven deaths.