Texas Reports First Sexually Transmitted Case Of Zika Virus

mosquitoA person has been infected with the Zita virus through sexual contact.   A patient diagnosed in Texas became infected with the Zika virus through sexual contact.

The mosquito-borne Zika virus has been linked to brain damage in thousands of babies.  Microcephaly is the birth defect linked to the Zika Virus.

Microcephaly a medical condition in which the circumference of the head is smaller than normal because the brain has not developed. NIH

The first US case of the Zika virus has been contracted in Dallas County and was acquired through sexual transmission, local health officials said on Tuesday. The infection was confirmed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The local health authority added that there are no reports of the virus being locally transmitted by mosquitoes in Texas county.

The county did not identify the person infected.

However a statement released by the Dallas County Health and Human Services said, “The patient was infected with the virus after having sexual contact with an ill individual who returned from a country where Zika virus is present.”

There have been six confirmed travel-related cases of Zika virus disease, all among residents of Harris County, where Houston is located, the Texas Department of State Health Services said.

In medical literature, there has been only one case of Zika transmitted sexually and one case in which the virus was detected in semen.

The World Health Organization declared Zika an international emergency on Monday over the explosive spread of the virus, which is linked to birth defects in the Americas.

There is no vaccine or treatment for Zika.  France24

Zika Virus Expected To Spread Across Americas

mosquitoThe World Health Organization expects the Zika virus will spread across the Americas except for Canada and Chile.  The virus is native to Africa and was first found to be spreading in the Americas in Brazil in 2015.  Currently there is no vaccine for it.

The mosquito-borne Zika virus, which has been linked to brain damage in thousands of babies in Brazil, is likely to spread to all countries in the Americas except for Canada and Chile, the World Health Organization said on Monday.

Zika transmission has not yet been reported in the continental United States, although a woman who fell ill with the virus in Brazil later gave birth to a brain-damaged baby in Hawaii.

Brazil’s Health Ministry said in November that Zika was linked to a fetal deformation known as microcephaly, in which infants are born with smaller-than-usual brains.

Brazil has reported 3,893 suspected cases of microcephaly, the WHO said last Friday, over 30 times more than in any year since 2010 and equivalent to 1-2 percent of all newborns in the state of Pernambuco, one of the worst-hit areas. Reuters