THE Department of Health yesteday announced that two more persons in Iloilo City have tested positive for Zika, bringing to eight the number of recorded cases in the Philippines.
Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial said the two new Zika patients are living in the same house with the sixth patient found positive for the virus.
Ubial said the two new patients showed minor symptoms of Zika such as fever and mild skin rash.
Ubial said none of the three have been hospitalized and have already recovered, though they are still under observation and under home quarantine.
The DoH announced last week that the sixth Zika patient contracted the virus while out of the country.
It sent a team to Iloilo City to check if other people living with and near the sixth patient have also contracted Zika.
Ubial said at least 88 houses around the residence of the sixth patient were checked by the city government and found the presence of larvae of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the carrier of Zika as well as dengue.
She said the two new cases were among the 12 people tested for Zika in the community.
The two new patients contracted the virus after being bitten by Zika-carrying mosquitoes.
Ubial said health workers were surveying pregnant women living within the same community for possible infections.
There are currently 2,500 testing kits for Zika at the DoH’s Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, the only group allowed to carry out testing until a local spread has been established.
Meanwhile, the health chief said the Iloilo City government has intensified its search and destroy drive to rid the community of the Zika-carrying mosquitoes.
Ubial also urged other local government units to step up their anti-mosquito campaign in their respective areas.
Ubial said informational material on Zika were distributed by the Bureau of Quarantine in the city while Zika screening measures at the Panay international airport were heightened.
Meanwhile, World Health Organization Country Representative Gundo Weiler said they are working closely with the RITM on the laboratory confirmation of possible Zika cases.