Philippines, with a population of about 40 million, is one of the countries hardest hit by the spread of the Zika epidemic, which has claimed more than 1,300 lives.
The World Health Organization said last week it was extending a $15 million grant to the Philippines, giving the country access to an experimental Zika vaccine.
But some experts are warning that the country may not be ready for the vaccine.
What you need to know about Zika virus:What you want to know:How the virus spreads in the PhilippinesHealth officials are warning of a spike in microcephaly in pregnant women in the country, which is now among the top five countries worldwide where the disease has been detected.
Experts say the country’s limited health system is vulnerable to outbreaks of microcepaly, a neurological disorder caused by a virus that can affect a fetus in the womb.
The virus can also cause birth defects.
Dr. Daniel Rizzo, a professor of pediatrics at the University of the Philippines-Cape Coral, said in an interview last week that it is difficult to determine how many people have been infected by the virus.
We do not know what the infection rate is, but it’s possible that there is a small amount of infected people.
He said that because Zika infections are concentrated in certain regions, the country will not be able to catch the virus quickly enough to control the outbreak.
Rizzo said there are a few factors that could affect how quickly the Philippines can respond to a new outbreak.
First, the Philippines does not have a reliable water supply, he said.
Also, the virus is not spreading rapidly, and the country has not had any significant rainfall in recent months.
He added that although the country is able to monitor how much Zika has infected pregnant women, they cannot monitor the number of microcephalics in the community because they do not have access to diagnostic equipment or testing.
“If there is an increase in microcephalic cases, we can monitor them, but if we have no increase in cases, it will be hard to monitor them because the system cannot catch them,” Rizzi said.
Experts believe the country should use the Zika vaccine to address the countrys current and potential shortages of healthcare professionals and equipment, as well as medical personnel, because of a shortage of personnel to provide testing and other services.