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Coordinated gov’t action on Zika virus sought

  • Written by Bernadette E. Tamayo
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 236

by the six new cases of Zika virus in the country, Sen. Nancy Binay has urged Congress, the Department of Health (DoH), the national government, and local government units (LGUs) to come up with an urgent and coordinated action to combat the spread of the disease.

The DoH announced Tuesday that six more persons have contracted Zika virus, bringing the number of recorded cases of the virus in the country to nine.

Of the nine cases, six were females; six out of nine came from Iloilo, one came from Cebu and one from Laguna. All new cases had no history of travel to other countries.

“The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the Zika virus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. We have already recorded six new cases so far this year, must we wait for the virus to spread before we take action?” Binay asked.

“Kailangan po nating magtulungan upang maipaalam sa ating mga kababayan na seryoso po ang threat ng Zika virus sa ating bansa. Kailangan po natin silang bigyan ng sapat na kaalaman upang maprotektahan natin sila mula sa sakit na ito,” she said.
   
The Zika virus is primarily transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. In tropical countries, it is commonly spread by the Aedes aegypti, the same mosquito that transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. However, Zika virus can also be transmitted sexually and through blood transfusion.
   
Those infected with the virus may experience mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, or headaches, and according to WHO, these may last for two to seven days.
   
The virus is also being blamed for the increase in cases of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome in countries where Zika has spread.
   
The latest WHO situation report on Zika virus lists the Philippines as a Category 2-country. Category 2 countries have possible endemic transmission or evidence of local mosquito-borne Zika infections in 2016.
   
In filing Senate Resolution No. 136, Binay stressed that it is “the duty of the State to protect and promote the right to health of the people.”
   
“There is an imminent threat of local and cross-border transmission of Zika virus infection in the country that calls for urgent and coordinated action from Congress, the DoH, national government and local government units to adopt an action plan to prevent the spread of Zika virus, enhance early detection and monitoring of Zika virus, and increase awareness of Zika virus through information, education and communication (EIC) campaigns,” she said.