It seems like the bad news about the Zika virus spreading rapidly will not cease – a Zika virus case transmitted sexually is now confirmed.
The rare case is about a patient infected in Dallas, Texas, who is likely to have been infected by sexual contact. According to the experts who are on the case, this patient had not travelled to infected areas but their partner had returned recently from Venezuela.
The case has been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which confirmed it was contracted through sex and not a mosquito bite.
Now that we know Zika virus can be transmitted through sex, this increases our awareness campaign in educating the public about protecting themselves and others.
said Zachary Thompson, DCHHS director. He also added that next to abstinence, condoms are the best prevention method against any sexually-transmitted infections and he encouraged people to use them, with no exception.
An analysis made by James Gallagher, health editor at BBC, points out that if Zika can readily spread through sex, then it poses a risk to every country not just those with the Aedes mosquito.
This explosive outbreak has caught the world by surprise and many key questions remain unanswered. Exactly how common or rare is sexual transmission? Also, can it be spread by the 80% of people who show no symptoms? How long does the virus persist in semen? When is it safe to have sex again? What should men do after visiting affected countries? Can women also spread the virus through sex?
However, as according to the BBC editor, we must not despair. This is not as bad as HIV/Aids infection. Zika infections are short, mild and pose a significant threat only in pregnancy.
Generally, Zika virus is transmitted by mosquitos. Symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. At the moment, the virus is spreading through the Americas and the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the disease linked to the virus a global public health emergency.
As a safety measure, The American Red Cross has urged prospective blood donors returning from Zika-hit countries to wait at least 28 days before donating their blood. The “self-deferral” will apply to people returning from Mexico, the Caribbean or Central or South America during the past four weeks, the Red Cross said in a statement.
Brazil, the country worst hit by the outbreak – has revealed it is investigating 3,670 suspected cases of microcephaly in babies linked to the Zika virus.
WHO estimates there could be up to 4 million cases of Zika in the Americas in the next year. Officials said people can avoid the Zika virus by protecting against mosquito bites and avoiding sexual contact with those infected.
So far, there are no medications available that fight Zika virus and there are no vaccines.
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