aNewDomain — Now that the first cases of sexually-transmitted Zika have been reported in Dallas, the World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) officials are at once renewing efforts to encourage safe sex and urging pregnant women and those hoping to conceive to learn everything they can about the virus.
Zika is believed to be directly related to a sharp spike in birth defects in Brazil, many of them related to hydrocephalic “water on the brain” defects, WHO officials said in a press conference today.
Scientists have known for awhile that Zika could be transmitted through sex, CDC officials said in a statement, but the likelihood of such transmission had seemed to be exceedingly rare.
Rather, the vast majority of the cases seen to be in South America, Central America and tropical American locales and are spread via mosquito bite, in the same manner that Malaria or West Nile virus are transmitted.
See the CDC informational Zika virus infographic below. It explains the lack of Zika symptoms in many patients pre-illness and what Zika might look like after they become ill. In total, about 30 million Americans have so far been diagnosed with the Zika virus, mostly among those who traveled to tropical locals in South and Central America. It appears to be rapidly spreading however, particularly into Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands, they said.
Please use extra caution when traveling to such locales.
For aNewDomain, I’m Gina Smith.