Zika virus transmitted through sex in 2 possible cases – US health authority

Friday, January 29, 2016
By Paul Martin

29 Jan, 2016

There are two recorded cases when the highly dangerous Zika virus may have been transmitted through sexual intercourse, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said. The WHO says between 3 and 4 million people may have been infected this year.

“There is one reported case of Zika virus through possible sexual transmission,” said Anna Schuchat, deputy director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), referring to the case of a 44-year-old Tahiti man who contracted the virus during its outbreak in French Polynesia in 2013.

A test revealed high levels of the virus in his semen even after it was no longer present in his blood samples, the New York Times reported.

Another case of Zika exposure through sex dates back to 2008. Dr. Brian D. Foy, a US biologist, was infected with the virus while conducting a malaria research in Senegal. He was reportedly bitten by the mosquitoes he collected for the study. After coming back to Colorado, he displayed various symptoms, including a rash, fatigue and a headache that ensued from as then-unidentified infection, apparently transmitted by mosquitoes. He also complained about pain in his genitals and blood in his semen.

His assistant, Kevin C. Kobylinski, who was working along him in Africa, developed similar symptoms. Both were tested negative for malaria, dengue and yellow fever, which the Aedes mosquito typically carries. In a few days, the mysterious virus manifested itself in Foy’s wife, who also suffered from a rash, severe headache and bloodshot eyes.

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