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American tests positive for Zika virus after Philippines trip

An American woman who visited the Philippines in January has tested positive for the Zika virus in the United States, t he Philippines government has said.

Health Secretary Janet Garin said on Sunday that her department was co-ordinating with the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to get more information about the woman and find out where she stayed during her visit from January 2 to 28.

Ms Garin said it was only the second Zika case to be reported in the Philippines and stressed that there has been no report of an outbreak. She added that the public should not be alarmed but should take steps to prevent infection.

A 15-year-old boy became infected in Cebu city in the central Philippines in 2012, but recovered fully, according to the health department.

Health department spokesman, Dr Lyndon Lee Suy said the woman was apparently exhibiting the symptoms of Zika in the final days of her stay in the Philippines, but that she was not diagnosed with the virus until she returned to the US.

Philippines health officials have advised pregnant women to consider deferring non-essential travel to Zika-hit countries and worked to raise public awareness on how to fight infections, including by using insect repellents and wearing protective clothing, and by destroying all breeding places of mosquitoes, which can spread Zika, dengue and other tropical diseases.

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