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Zika Virus Transmitted In Texas Through Sexual Intercourse

Update Date: Feb 04, 2016 12:18 PM EST
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An extremely rare case of Zika infection via sexual intercourse has been documented in Dallas, Texas according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The patient who contracted the virus had not been to places where Zika infection is particularly high. The most plausible explanation behind the rare viral transmission is sexual contact. The patient's partner was reportedly exposed to the virus during a stay in Venezuela.

CDC experts found surprising traces of the infection involving a "non-traveler"- the first case of its kind in the US.

"We don't believe this was spread through mosquito bites, but we do believe it was spread through a sexual contact," remarked CDC principal deputy director Anne Schuchat as quoted saying by BBC.

Based on recent findings, federal health inspectors are expected to roll out new Zika guidelines that emphasize men whose sexual partners are either pregnant or may be pregnant.

"There have been isolated cases of spread through blood transfusion or sexual contact and that's not very surprising. The virus is in the blood for about a week. How long it would remain in the semen is something that needs to be studied and we're working on that now," said CDC Director Tom Frieden as mentioned in a report by CNN.

Despite the current hype over the sexually transmitted Zika virus, experts cautioned the public to never lose sight of the main culprit- the Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes.

"Mosquito transmission is the highway, whereas sexual transmission is the byway. Sexual transmission cannot account for this sudden and widespread transmission of this virus," commented Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University Medical School as stated by The New York Times.

The mosquito-borne illness resulting to serious neurological birth defects in babies have extraordinarily surged in recent months mostly in Latin America and the Caribbean. This prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare Zika virus as global public health emergency.

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