DOH verifying reports of mother, baby infected with Zika
The Department of Health (DOH) is verifying reports that a mother and her full term, newborn baby in Western Visayas tested positive for the Zika virus.
The agency said the mother was not among the 57 Zika virus infections in the country as of Thursday.
In a statement, the DOH said the mother and her daughter screened positive for Zika virus antibodies using a rapid diagnostic test which was not yet confirmatory.
Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial said the mother did not manifest any symptoms of Zika virus throughout her pregnancy, while the daughter was born by normal spontaneous vaginal delivery.
Upon the birth of the child, it was observed that the size of the baby’s head is smaller than the usual, or microcephaly, and that the baby was also born with encephalocoele, a rare type of birth defect of the neural tube that affects the brain in the area between her eyes.
“Samples from mother and the baby were sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and will be subjected to a confirmatory test on Zika virus using real-time polymerase chain reaction,” Ubial said.
In its latest report, the DOH has recorded 57 cases of Zika virus infections in the country, including three pregnant women recently infected with the virus.
This brings the total number of pregnant women with the Zika virus to seven.
The seven women’s ages ranged from 16 to 32 years old, with three from Metro Manila, two from Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon (Calabarzon) and two from Central Visayas.
One case involved a 16-year-old woman from Las Piñas City, who already gave birth to a baby boy in full term without microcephaly, while a 32-year-old woman from Central Visayas had spontaneous abortion in the ninth week of her pregnancy.
Of the 57 cases, 38 were females while 19 were males, with ages ranging from seven to 59 years old.
Twenty cases were from Metro Manila, while 18 cases came from the Calabarzon and 15 from Western Visayas.
On the other hand, Central Luzon and Central Visayas had two cases each, the DOH added. RAM