First U.S. case of Zika virus reported in Dallas and sexually transmitted

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The first U.S. case of the Zika virus has been confirmed in Dallas and was transmitted sexually.
By Adam Widmer | Feb 17, 2016
The first case of the Zika virus in the US has been reported in Texas by Dallas County Health and Human Services. The case was confirmed to have been passed through sexual transmission and not a mosquito bite, as most cases of the Zika virus have previously been contracted.

According to officials, the patient infected was having sexual contact with an ill person who had returned from a country where Zika is circulating. The case comes a day after the World Health Organization declared an international public health emergency.

Dallas County Health and Human Services said it received confirmation of the case from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus has been linked to severe birth defects in thousands of babies in Brazil and is currently spreading throughout the Americas. WHO officials on Tuesday were also concerned that the virus could spread to Africa and Asia as well. The virus is predominantly thread through the bite of mosquitos of the Aedes genus. The sexual transmission is a potentially alarming development.

"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, the director of Dallas County Health and Human Services.

Thompson also advised that abstinence and condoms were the best prevention against Zika and any other sexually transmitted infections. Health officials have said Zika is still unlikely to be common in the U.S., and that infected mosquito bites still pose the greatest risk of infection.



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