The threat of Zika alerts women to delay pregnancy in PH

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This warning has urged women to delay pregnancy in the Philippines until more is known about the mosquito-borne Zika virus which raging in Latin America.

The World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus an international public health emergency, prompted by growing concern that it could cause birth defects. As many as four million people could be infected by the end of the year. Pregnant women are advised not to travel to about two dozen countries, mostly in the Caribbean and Latin American, where the outbreak is growing.

The infection appears to be linked to the development of unusually small heads and brain damage in newborns. Some pregnant women who have been to regions where it’s infected by the virus should be tested for the infection, the agency said.

Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. People with Zika virus disease usually have symptoms that can include mild fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days. There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available. The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites. Nowadays, the virus is known to circulate in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.


photo credit: reuters

Consequently, in the Philippines, a minister has urged women to delay pregnancy to prevent getting the disease, even though it’s already been four years since the country had a reported case of zika. Its sole reported case was in 2012 involving a teenage boy in Cebu island in central Philippines.
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Much remains to be discovered about Zika. The virus has been linked to thousands of cases of birth defects in Latin America. The situation has made WHO to declare worldwide public health emergency.

Health Minister Janet Garin said in a radio interview on Sunday recommending those who are not in a hurry to get pregnant to postpone it and just wait next year until they know more about the virus. She suggested people to practice family planning methods. She’s also asking Filipinos to avoid those countries affected by Zika because travelers who contracted the disease abroad may transmit the virus sexually to their partners.

Lyndon Lee –Suy, spokesman for the health ministry, told Reuters on Monday, though PH does not have any reported cases as of now, we know that the threat is present. The spokesman also said that even the husbands should be awared of the risks of pregnancy.

There is no vaccine or treatment for Zika, which causes mild fever, rash and red eyes. An estimated 80 percent of people infected have no symptoms.

On the other hand, the health minister was accused by an outspoken Roman Catholic bishop, of using the scare over Zika to suggest people practice family planning. Archbishop Oscar Cruz said that it isn’t in their job description to say when women may get pregnant. He described it is beyond her competence.

The government is seeking to implement a controversial reproductive health law and the state is promoting the use of contraceptives.

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XOLXOL: The threat of Zika alerts women to delay pregnancy in PH
The threat of Zika alerts women to delay pregnancy in PH
This warning has urged women to delay pregnancy in the Philippines until more is known about the mosquito-borne Zika virus which raging in Latin America.
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