Zika cases in the Philippines reach 17 – DOH

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Department of Health on Friday, October 14, reported a total of 17 locally-transmitted cases of Zika virus in the Philippines.

Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial reported two new cases on Friday, both from Mandaluyong City. 

The 17 total cases come from 4 regions: National Capital Region, Calabarzon, Western Visayas, and Central Visayas.

Only the confirmed case in Cebu City is reported to be pregnant.

Zika, which resembles a light case of the flu, is transmitted by mosquito species found in tropical and sub-tropical regions: Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, or tiger mosquitoes. (READ: What DOH is doing to deal with Zika, other public health threats)

The disease is strongly suspected of causing birth defects such as microcephaly and other brain deformities in newborns. (READ: FAST FACTS: Zika virus)

Health officials reported the first confirmed local transmission of the virus in September. – Jee Y. Geronimo/Rappler.com

 Editor's note: The DOH earlier said the two new cases were from Mandaluyong City and Makati City. Secretary Ubial issued a correction on Monday, October 17, saying that both of the new cases are from Mandaluyong City.