Higher Zika alert for PH seen
The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday said it expected the United States Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) to issue a level 2 travel alert for people traveling to the Philippines after an American woman who visited the country for four weeks in January tested positive for the Zika virus.
“It would be expected simply because Zika has been found to be existing in the Philippines,” Health Secretary Janette Garin told doctors and other health workers from various medical societies at Friday’s orientation meeting on the mosquito-borne disease.
She also said the findings that the American patient did not travel to any country except the Philippines before she got sick made a travel alert “highly possible” from the CDC.
A level 2 alert means visitors or tourists should practice enhanced precautions to avoid getting bitten by day-biting mosquitoes during their stay in countries with active local transmission of the virus.
These precautions include wearing mosquito repellant and postponing unnecessary travel to areas with active local transmission of the Zika virus among pregnant women, who can pass on the infection to their unborn children, said Garin.
Currently, there are 37 travel destinations which the CDC had already issued level 2 travel alerts. TVJ
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