BOQ: Zika Update

As of 21 September 2016

8:15 AM

New Cases Reported:

As of 20 September 2016, six (6) additional locally transmitted confirmed case of Zika virus infection were reported by the Epidemiology Bureau of the Department of Health (DoH).  This brings to a total of 14 Zika cases reported in the country since 2012.  Four (4) of the new reported cases were from Iloilo and one (1) each from Laguna and Cebu.  The reported new cases from Iloilo were not connected to the earlier reported Zika cases.

DOH has not recommended any travel restrictions to Iloilo.  Related to this health threat, health authority encourages pregnant women to visit their doctors for medical counseling and monitoring of their pregnancy.

Zika Viral Infection Symptoms

The Bureau urges its personnel to observe for the following cardinal signs of Zika virus infection to travelers arriving at ports and airports:

  • Skin Rashes
  • Fever
  • Conjunctivitis

Other signs and symptoms are:

  • Muscles and joint pain
  • Malaise
  • Headache

The disease last for seven (7) days.


Advisory for Travelers

Travelers can protect themselves from Zika virus by:

  • Use of Bed Nets
  • If room is not well screened and air conditioned, use a bed net when sleeping or resting.
  • Mosquitoes can live indoors and will bite at any time, day or night.
  • Use of Insect Repellent
  • Use FDA registered insect repellent containing…
  • Always use as directed.
  • Do not apply repellent under clothing.
  • If using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first then the insect repellent.
  • With proper use or as directed, these insect repellents are proven safe and effective even for pregnant and breast-feeding women.
  • Most repellents containing DEET can be used on children older than 2 months. Mosquito netting can be used to cover infants.
  • Use of Condoms
  • Zika can be passed through sex. Use condoms during and after travel to protect self and partner.
  • For women, if you are pregnant, use condoms for the rest of your pregnancy.

Abstaining from sex eliminates the risk of getting Zika virus.

BOQ Response

The Bureau of Quarantine is in close coordination with the DOH, RITM and other partner agencies in the surveillance of Zika virus infection. IEC materials are being disseminated to both arriving and departing travelers. Further, the Bureau strongly encourage arriving international passengers to fill the Health Declaration Checklist completely and truthfully as it will help in the contact tracing activities of in case of a case have been identified amongst travelers.