The Philippine Embassy in Washington on Thursday called on Filipinos in the United States to take extra precaution as cases of Zika infections have been reported there.
Members of the Filipino-American community, the embassy said, are further advised to learn more about the Zika virus disease—its cause, symptoms, methods of transmission, preventive measures, and confirmed cases—by visiting the websites of the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Since last month, many countries in the Americas have noted a significant spike in the number of patients infected with the Zika virus, the embassy noted.
In the US, cases of Zika infection have been detected in 11 states and in Washington DC, where 31 Americans were reportedly diagnosed with the virus which they contracted while traveling abroad.
“As the World Health Organization (WHO) declares the current spread of the Zika virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, the Philippine Government, through the Department of Health, has advised its citizens to remember and use ‘4S’ against Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases,” the embassy said.
The 4S stands for: Search and destroy mosquito breeding places, use Self-protection measures, Seek early consultation for fever lasting more than two days, and Say yes to fogging when there is an impending outbreak.
The Zika virus, detected in 2015 in Brazil, spread to people through mosquito bites.
Its symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis.
According to the CDC, the illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week.
Although the WHO has not recommended the imposition of any travel, trade, or screening restrictions related to the Zika virus, it advised travelers going to and coming from countries with known infection cases to maintain a high level of vigilance and self-care.
The Philippine government said it has no plans at the moment to impose travel restrictions to countries with known Zika infections.