DOH confirms 10 new Zika cases

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Health officials on Tuesday confirmed 10 new cases of the Zika virus, bringing the total number of cases nationwide to 33.

The patients include:

  • a 7-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy from Calamba, Laguna
  • a 26-year-old woman from Antipolo, Rizal
  • a 27-year-old woman from Makati City
  • a 22-year-old woman from Muntinlupa City
  • a 25-year-old man from Bacoor City, Cavite
  • a 25-year-old woman from Sta. Cruz, Manila
  • a 31-year-old man from Caloocan
  • a 16-year-old girl from Las Piñas City
  • a 38-year-old woman from Mandaluyong City

The DOH said it is still confirming if the female patients are pregnant. The Zika virus, primarily transmitted through a bite from dengue-carrying Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes, is linked to severe brain and other neurological defects among babies in the womb.

Read: Five things you need to know about Zika

The virus was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization because of its links to microcephaly.

Read: WHO: Zika causes microcephaly and Guillain-Barre syndrome

Microcephaly is a rare condition where a baby is born with a small head and an underdeveloped brain.

The virus can also be transmitted sexually, which is why the DOH also reminds pregnant women, their partners and others who plan for pregnancy to practice safe sex to avoid infection.

In an interview with CNN Philippines, DOH spokesman Dr. Eric Tayag said there could be more Zika cases until the rainy season ends next year, unless people listen to the agency's advice of cleaning their surroundings and keeping containers of water covered to prevent mosquitoes from breeding and spreading the virus.

The DOH has also set up 24/7 Zika virus hotlines. These are (02) 711-1001 and (02) 711-1002.