In an advisory, Dr. Marlyn Convocar, Western Visayas regional director of Department of Health (DOH-Region 6) stated, "Pregnant women, in any trimester, should consider postponing travel to Iloilo City."
Dr. Convocar said there is "an ongoing local transmission of mosquito-borne Zika virus."
The Zika virus is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same type that carries dengue. It has been linked to microchepaly or babies born with very small heads. It's transmitted via mosquito bites, sexual contact, blood transfusion, or by a pregnant woman to her fetus.
"A 45-year-old woman in Iloilo was the first locally transmitted case and the sixth overall in the country over the years. Last week, the DOH confirmed that two members of the woman’s household in Barangay Benedicto, Jaro District, were also infected," recalls Philippine Daily Inquirer.
None of the three are pregnant, and they have reportedly recovered from "a mild infection." They didn't even require hospitalization.
People are told to "observe precautionary measures, including covering exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants." Moreover, they are urged to "use insect repellent approved by the Food and Drug Administration" and stay in screened-in spaces.
The Inquirer further explained that "those who get sick within two to seven days after visiting Iloilo are advised to consult a physician if they develop skin rashes, joint pains, and conjunctivitis (red eyes)."