US, Feb 3: A person in Texas, United States, has been infected with the defect-causing Zika virus after having sex with a person who apparently caught the virus while visiting Venezuela in South America, the local media reported quoting county health officials on Tuesday.
The traveller from South America, now identified as ‘patient O’ and the person in Dallas, now identified as ‘patient 1’ have both tested positive according to local health authorities.
Typically, the Zika virus is transmitted through mosquito bites. But this instance of the disease being transmitted sexually has made health authorities even more concerned.
Zachary Thompson,Dallas Director, County Health and Human Services has said, “Now that we know Zika virus can be transmitted through sex, this increases our awareness campaign in educating the public about protecting themselves and others.”
He also said, “Next to abstinence, condoms are the best prevention method against any sexually-transmitted infections.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Zika virus has spread rapidly and has so far been detected in 25 countries, with a surge in cases of microcephaly particularly in north-eastern Brazil. The protocol for diagnosing it starts with measuring the head of a newborn at least one day after birth to see if it is below a certain level. The disease could be responsible for a number of problems, from convulsions to learning disabilities.