Experts learning more about sexual transmission of Zika virus

Experts learning more about sexual transmission of Zika virus

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - It was a little-known virus a year ago, but as scientists discover more about Zika and its effects, the warnings are more far-reaching than just staying away from mosquitoes.

There have been more than 1,400 travel-associated cases of people going to Central and South American countries and bringing the virus back to the United States. That is compared to just 15 cases of Zika virus transmitted sexually in the country.

But doctors have found it is more likely for men to transmit the virus sexually than women, and a pregnant woman can possibly become infected during various types of sex, including oral sex.

Health officials advise people stay alert to the possible spread of Zika, especially if they plan on becoming pregnant.

Pregnant women in endemic areas she should either abstain from sex or have protected sex with condoms and barrier methods for the duration of the pregnancy, experts say.

Nearly 80 percent of people who contract Zika show no signs of having the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control is still trying to determine if two people contracted Zika from mosquitoes in South Florida.

If that is the case, it would be the first confirmed cases of Zika contracted in the United States through the insects.

Many people infected with Zika virus won't have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms.

According to the CDC The most common symptoms of Zika are:

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
  • Other symptoms include:
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache

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