NY reports first female-to-male Zika transmission via sex

The Zika virus can lead to children being born with Microcephaly which causes a newborn to have a small head that gives rise to developmental issues. "Although no cases of woman-to-woman Zika transmission have been reported, these recommendations now also apply to female sex partners of pregnant women".

Here's the full story: a 20-something woman traveled outside the country to an area of Zika transmission, and began experiencing some symptoms (a headache and abdominal cramping) while waiting for her flight back to NYC.

According to the CDC, the man did not use a condom, and he developed a fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes seven days later.

The woman, who was not identified, and a male partner had sex without a condom the day she returned home, according to the report.

The CDC now advises pregnant women to use protection if their sex partner has traveled to a Zika-infected region, whether the partner is a man or a woman. "It's very hard to figure out in an area of ongoing transmission of Zika, how many infections are due to mosquito bites and how many were due to sexual transmission".

The virus, which was first reported as infecting a San Francisco resident on March 3 before another case was reported April 22, is not being contracted locally, as the mosquito-borne illness is not circulating here, health officials said. The agency will update its guidelines for couples who may be planning to become pregnant. The CDC now recommends that pregnant women whose sexual partners are female take the same precautions.

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The woman developed fever, fatigue, a rash and body aches the next day, and sought treatment.

Until now, scientists believed it was only possible for men to spread Zika through sexual contact. The male partner had not traveled outside of the United States, and he had not been bitten by a mosquito.

Much about how the virus works is a mystery, and it remains challenging to detect; 80 percent of those infected show no symptoms. The doctor suspected sexual transmission of the virus and alerted the health department.

Recent studies have already shown that Zika is present in the female genital tract, including in vaginal fluid, but this is the first recorded case of transmission.

He noted that mosquitoes remain a major way the Zika virus is spread.

"This mirrors other epidemics, such as chikungunia - a similar virus to Zika - where we have seen explosive epidemics follow by long periods with few new cases".

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