DOH: PH now has 39 Zika cases, including 3 pregnant women

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — There are now 39 recorded Zika cases in the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed on Monday.

The DOH confirmed four new cases of Zika, and among them is a five-month-old pregnant woman from Biñan, Laguna.

With this, the number of pregnant women infected now stands at three. Zika virus may cause babies' brains to shrink.

Read: WHO declares end of Zika emergency but says virus remains a threat

The first pregnant case was a 22-year-old woman from Cebu, who was diagnosed with Zika during her 19th week of pregnancy in September.

The second pregnant case was a 16-year-old in Las Piñas, who was on her 32nd week of  pregnancy in November.

The Zika-infected mothers will be monitored during the entire course of their pregnancy, according to DOH spokesperson Eric Tayag.

Even up to two years after giving birth, Tayag says the women will continue to be monitored.

He said the DOH has received reports from Brazil that Zika-induced birth defects could occur at any stage, even a year after the baby was born.

But he said there was a good chance that the women's babies will not possibly develop abnormalities related to the Zika virus.

Watch: Health officials step up fight vs. Zika

Tayag said that based on some reports, birth defects usually occur when the mothers contract the Zika virus in the first three months of their pregnancy.

All the pregnant patients were infected with Zika after their first trimester period.

Previous Zika cases were detected in the cities of Bacoor, Antipolo, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Quezon, Makati, Caloocan, and Manila, while two of the new Zika patients are from Iloilo City and one was from Mandaluyong City.

The DOH once more urged the public to apply the 4S strategy:

-Search and destroy mosquito breeding places

-Self-protection measures

-Seek early consultation for fever lasting more than two days

-Say yes to fogging when there is an impending outbreak