As the Philippines’ latest wave of the Zika virus has spread through the country, there have been concerns that the virus could have infected hundreds of thousands of pregnant women in the country.
Now, a team of researchers is reporting that the country’s newest wave of Zika has already begun infecting pregnant women.
The researchers, led by a research team from the National University of Singapore, have determined that the Zika strain that has been spreading in the southern Philippines is “highly infectious,” meaning that it has already killed many of its victims.
As of Tuesday, there are over 4,700 pregnant women who are infected with Zika, and the death toll has reached over 100.
In the Philippines, Zika has also killed more than 50,000 people and affected tens of thousands more.
Now that Zika has been confirmed in the region, the researchers are hoping to test for it in more pregnant women, as well as other people in the community, to see if it can transmit to others.
“This new strain is extremely contagious and it can infect other people,” said lead author Dr. Joanne Lee, a researcher at the National Institute of Health and Human Services (Nihon Institute for Research on Health and Environment), in a press release.
“It’s a very big problem for pregnant women to have to deal with.
If there are other people who are affected, we can monitor them for infection.”
Zika is spread through a virus that causes microcephaly, a congenital birth defect that causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and smaller brains.
The virus is often fatal for babies, with microcepaly leading to brain damage, paralysis, and other disabilities.
But because Zika does not spread in the womb, the disease can be passed from mother to baby as the mother is infected, leaving the baby without the ability to speak, move, or feel.
In addition, some of the babies who do develop microcephalic-type disorders do not have an understanding of their own bodies.
The Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects in infants and adults, has been detected in more than 20 countries and territories around the world, and has been shown to cause severe birth defects.
The Philippines has experienced a major spike in the number of cases in the past two weeks, with at least 11,000 cases.
The country has been hit by a rash of suspected cases, including one case of microcephema, a condition in which the baby’s brain has been shrunk.
So far, only two people have died from Zika, which the government has linked to microcepsis.
In September, the Philippines government announced that it would offer free testing for Zika, though it has yet to release any data on the amount of cases.
“We hope to be able to test pregnant women for Zika as soon as possible,” Dr. Lee said.