First Sexually Transmitted Zika Virus Case Happened in the US

February 2, 2016
Caitlyn Fitzpatrick

It’s been suspected that the Zika virus can be transmitted through sexual contact, and evidence has emerged that has verified this as a possible disease route.

It’s been suspected that the Zika virus can be transmitted through sexual contact, and evidence has emerged that has verified this as a possible disease route.

On February 2, officials from the Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) confirmed that a patient in Texas contracted Zika from having sexual contact with an individual who had recently returned from a country where the virus has been ongoing.

Additional information on the patient is unavailable due to confidentiality reasons.

“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,” Zachary Thompson, DCHHS director, said in a news release. “Next to abstinence, condoms are best prevention method against any sexually-transmitted infection.”

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The mosquito-borne illness most commonly causes fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The symptoms are typically mild and last no longer than one week. The DCHHS advises that anyone who shows symptoms, in addition to having visited an area where Zika is present or had sex with someone who has, should visit their health care provider.

“Education and awareness is crucial in preventing Zika virus. Patients are highly encouraged to follow prevention recommendations to avoid transmitting and spreading Zika virus,” continued Christopher Perkins, DO, MPH, DCHHS medical director/health authority.

Moral of the story? Maybe think twice before having sex with someone who has recently returned from one of these 24 countries.

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