Zika Virus Can Be Sexually Transmitted
Men returning from a Zika-infected area should abstain from sex or use a condom.
HealthDay News — Fourteen US cases of possible sexual transmission of the Zika virus are now under investigation by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agency announced last week.
"In 2 of the new suspected sexual transmission events, Zika virus infection has been confirmed in women whose only known risk factor was sexual contact with an ill male partner who had recently traveled to an area with local Zika virus transmission," the CDC noted in a news release. "Testing for the male partners is still pending," they added.
For the other 12 suspected cases of sexual transmission, 4 have been supported in preliminary lab tests but depend on other tests to confirm a Zika infection, while 8 more cases involve an "ongoing" investigation, the CDC said. "In all events for which information is available, travelers were men and reported symptom onset was within two weeks before the non-traveling female partner's symptoms [of Zika infection] began," the agency said.
On February 5, the CDC issued an advisory on the potential sexual transmission of Zika after laboratory confirmation of the first such case in the continental United States. The CDC stressed that, "although sexual transmission of Zika virus infection is possible, mosquito bites remain the primary way that Zika virus is transmitted." However, the CDC advises that men who live in or have recently traveled from a Zika-endemic area should abstain from sex or use a condom with a pregnant or non-pregnant partner.
- CDC encourages following guidance to prevent sexual transmission of Zika virus [news release]. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published February 23, 2016. Accessed February 24, 2016.