Health Care

Zika spread through sex by man with no symptoms

Zika spread through sex by man with no symptoms

Florida officials announced a new locally transmitted Zika case Wednesday-this time in Palm Beach County.

These states are in proximity to areas where Zika is actively spreading via mosquitoes or where there are a significant number of cases related to other exposures, including sexual transmission.

Zika virus infection during pregnancy has caused serious birth defects in a few cases in the USA and hundreds of cases in Central and South America where infants have been born with microcephaly, a condition where the brain and skull are malformed.

Doctors believe Zika spread from someone with no symptoms is extremely rare.

"It wasn't clear at first whether mosquito densities were high enough to sustain an outbreak in the U.S.", Dr. Ira Longini, a professor of biostatistics in the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions, said in a university statement.

The virus may replicate and stay in the vagina days after a woman becomes infected through sexual transmission, scientists warn. "The potential consequences for a pregnant woman are grave".

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has documented birth defects in infants whose mothers have been infected. This includes very large blood collection establishments, such as the American Red Cross, and some very small establishments, such as academic centers, he said.

The Zika (ZEE'-ka) virus was first discovered in monkey in Uganda in 1947 - its name comes from the Zika forest where it was first discovered.

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It's a major expansion from a February 16 advisory that limited such screening to areas with active Zika virus transmission.

They are aggressive feeders, commonly biting multiple people in quick succession, fueling the spread of the virus. In addition to transmission via mosquito, Zika can be transmitted sexually - by men and women to their partners - and through maternal-fetal transmission. These infections in the United States are thought to have occurred because the patients' partners had traveled to countries where Zika is circulating, the CDC said.

There are two ways this can happen: through the placenta, and through the amniotic sac.

There is no specific treatment for the virus and there is now no vaccine.

Individuals can protect themselves from mosquito bites by using insect repellents.

FDA officials said they do not anticipate any problems supplying the tests throughout the U.S.

That's surprising, perhaps, given all the dire predictions before the games about how the Olympics might help spread the mosquito-borne virus.

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