SURIGAO CITY -- Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial announced on Friday that as of February 2, 2017, there were 57 Zika cases in the country.
She said the DOH was verifying a report that a mother and her full term, new-born baby girl in Western Visayas "screened positive" for Zika Virus antibodies using a rapid diagnostic test.
However, the DOH chief added that this test "is not confirmatory."
The mother did not manifest any symptoms of Zika virus throughout her pregnancy, and she gave birth by normal delivery.
It was observed, however, that the size of the baby's head was smaller than usual, the DOH said in a statement.
"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," the DOH added.
Samples from mother and the baby have been sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for confirmatory test on Zika virus using Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction, Ubial explained.
Ubial said that out of the 57 Zika cases, 38 patients were female and 19 male. Their ages ranged from 7 years to 59 years old.
Of the 57 cases, 7 were pregnant women. Their ages ranged from 16 to 50 years old. Three came from the National Capital Region, and 2 each from CALABARZON and Central Visayas.
One case, a 16-year-old from Las Pinas, already gave birth to a baby boy at full term without microcephaly.
Another case, a 32-year-old from Central Visayas, had spontaneous abortion at 9 weeks of pregnancy.
The rest of the Zika pregnancies are being closely monitored.
As of press time, there were no deaths from the Zika virus.
Metro Manila had the most number of Zika cases with 20.
National Capital Region: 20 cases,
CALABARZON: 18 cases
Western Visayas: 15 cases
Central Luzon: 2 cases
Central Visayas: 2 cases