New CDC Precautions to Avoid Sexually Transmitted Zika Virus

Infection with Zika virus during pregnancy has been linked with microcephaly, a serious birth defect where the head and brain are underdeveloped.

The Zika virus, which has prompted a global health scare, has spread to the nation's capital with three confirmed cases. While 452 travel-related cases were documented in Florida that year, just 11 people contracted the virus in the state.

State health officials said Friday that a case of the Zika virus was found in Osceola County, outside Orlando, and one in St. Johns County, near Jacksonville.

Men with a pregnant partner who live in or have traveled to an area of active Zika transmission and their partner should consistently and correctly use condoms during sex or abstain for the duration of the pregnancy, the CDC said. Rarely, the virus may spread from mother to child around the time of birth.

But only about one in five people who are infected will get sick, and because the illness is usually mild, many people may never know they have it, according to CDC.

The U.S. agency also updated another interim guidance recommending pregnant women without symptoms of Zika virus disease can be offered testing two to 12 weeks after returning from areas with ongoing Zika virus spreading.

It said two more patients were in Catalonia, two in Castile and Leon, one in Murcia and one in the capital Madrid.

WA chief health officer Professor Tarun Weeramanthri said there was no risk to West Australians who had not travelled to Zika-affected countries in recent months.

In the USA, there have been about 50 cases of travelers diagnosed with the virus, including six pregnant women.

The condition of the infected pregnant woman's unborn baby is not presently known, reports Fox 5.

Although sexual transmission of the virus infection is possible, mosquito bites remain the primary way that Zika virus is spread.

"So that also shows that many of these pregnancies are out of their control and countries obviously have to take that into account", she said.



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