As the Zika virus continues to play havoc in the Americas, a person in Texas has been reportedly infected with the virus after having sex with a person who had returned from South America.
According to AFP, this is the first case of the virus being sexually transmitted in the US. "It's very rare but this is not new, we always looked at the point that this could be transmitted sexually,'' said Zachary Thompson, director of the Dallas County Health and Human Services.
The mosquito-transmitted Zika virus has been linked to microcephaly in newborns. Investigations are on to verify if sexual transmission is possible. Previously, there were reports of a Colorado researcher who picked up the virus in Africa and apparently spread it to his wife back home in 2008. In another instance, the virus was found in the semen of a man from Tahiti.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention says that the best way to avoid Zika virus infection is to prevent mosquito bites and for sexual partners to wear condoms to prevent sexually transmitted infections. "We do not have definitive information on the infectious time period, and will provide more guidance for individuals and clinicians as we learn more," the agency said.
The CDC said it will issue guidelines in the coming days on how best to prevent sexual transmission of the Zika virus - with a focus on the male sexual partners of women who are or who may be pregnant.