Tags: cdc | 14 cases | zika | sexually transmitted

CDC: 14 Cases of Zika Being Tested for Sexual Transmission Question

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By    |   Wednesday, 24 Feb 2016 01:11 PM

The CDC is investigating 14 cases this week in which the Zika virus may have been transmitted via sex instead of a mosquito bite.

"We think mosquito-borne spread is the most common route of transmission, but we want to make people aware that sexual transmission is also a risk," Jennifer McQuiston, deputy incident manager for CDC's Zika response, told Reuters.

In all of the cases being examined, women in the continental U.S. — some of them pregnant — had sex with men who'd traveled southward to countries where the virus is circulating. In each of the cases, the women developed symptoms associated with Zika roughly two weeks after their partner did, The New York Times reported.

Associated symptoms include rashes, red eyes, and joint pain, however the more grave fear is that the virus can cause microcephaly — an unusually small and deformed head — in the babies of pregnant women.

Doctors have suggested that people traveling to Zika-affected areas should use condoms or abstain from sex while their partner is pregnant. In one recent study, Zika appeared to persist in the semen of a 68-year-old for as long as 62 days after being infected.

"These recommendations might seem extreme to people, but the truth of the matter is we don't yet have good scientific data to say how long the virus may persist in semen," McQuiston said.

This month, Dallas health officials reported the first known sexually transmitted case of Zika in the current epidemic, according to NBC News.

Two dozen Latin American and Caribbean countries are currently affected by Zika. Trinidad and Tobago was added to that list recently, as well as the Marshall Islands in the Pacific.

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The CDC is investigating 14 cases this week in which the Zika virus may have been transmitted via sex instead of a mosquito bite.
cdc, 14 cases, zika, sexually transmitted
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2016-11-24
Wednesday, 24 Feb 2016 01:11 PM
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