DALLAS, Texas, United States, Wednesday February 3, 2016 – A case of Zika virus infection transmitted through sexual intercourse has been discovered in Texas.
Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) received confirmation from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that a patient was infected after having sexual contact with an ill individual who returned from Venezuela where Zika virus is present.
“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. “Next to abstinence, condoms are the best prevention method against any sexually-transmitted infections.”
The DCHHS is advising that the best way to avoid the Zika virus is to avoid mosquito bites and to avoid sexual contact with a person who has Zika virus.
“Education and awareness is crucial in preventing Zika virus,” said Dr. Christopher Perkins, DCHHS medical director/health authority. “Patients are highly encouraged to follow prevention recommendations to avoid transmitting and spreading Zika virus.”
In 2008, a malaria specialist who caught Zika virus while gathering mosquitoes in Africa passed the infection to his wife after his return to Northern Colorado.
And last year, French scientists said they had found viable Zika virus in the semen of a 44-year-old Tahitian man who had recovered from an infection during a 2013 outbreak in French Polynesia.
In this latest outbreak, Zika has spread to more than 20 territories in the Americas.
The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting several days to a week.
However, because of its suspected link to birth defects, the World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus a public health emergency of international concern.