Zika: More Cases of Sexual Transmission
At first it seemed like an anomaly. Just one or two reports of the Zika virus being contracted through sexual contact rather than by mosquito bite. But now no one can say for sure if that’s really happening or not.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating 14 more cases of sexual transmission of Zika virus in the U.S. All the cases being looked at involve men infecting women -- including some pregnant women.
The Zika virus has been linked to a recent surge in cases of birth defects in babies in Brazil. The latest CDC statement follows an earlier release of interim recommendations after lab tests confirmed a case of sexual transmission of Zika virus in a U.S. non-traveler who got it from an infected sexual partner.
In all 14 newly suspected cases, the travelers were men who reported symptoms starting within two weeks before their non-traveling female partner's symptoms began. In two cases, Zika virus infection has been confirmed in women whose only known risk factor was sexual contact with male partners who had recently returned from countries with Zika transmission.
The federal agency emphasizes that while sexual transmission of Zika virus may be possible, being bitten by virus-carrying mosquitoes in countries where Zika circulates remains the main way to contract the infection.