February 22, 2018

Zika virus sexually transmitted in Florida, officials say

03 August 2017, 01:06 | Rex Hubbard

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State health officials on Tuesday reported the first case of sexually transmitted Zika in Florida for 2017 in Pinellas County.

While the person did not travel, their partner had recently traveled to Cuba and had symptoms of the virus. Both then tested positive for the virus.

"If the department identifies an area where ongoing transmission of Zika is taking place, we will notify the public immediately", said officials.

Zika has been a new addition to the viruses that have had disastrous impact on the human population. "That hinders the ability of the virus to move and get to cells that they could infect", added Dawn Dudley, a scientist at the university. The Bronx has the most travel-related Zika cases with 29 reported through July 21 this year and 342 in 2016, followed by Brooklyn, with 22 and 265, Manhattan, with 25 and 199, and Staten Island, with 1 and 9.

The researchers swabbed the tonsils of five monkeys with saliva and swabbed the tonsils of three monkeys with a concentrated high dose of Zika virus in solution.

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Common symptoms of Zika include mild illness, fever and pain in joints but what makes the virus even more deadly is that some patients report no symptoms at all. Pregnant couples with recent travel to areas with active Zika transmission should consider using condoms for the duration of the pregnancy.

However, the researchers were also quick to point out a mysterious case of Zika transmission - between an elderly man and his caretaker son in Utah previous year - that ruled out better-understood routes such as mosquitoes or sexual activity.

Officials warn people to check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's list of areas with Zika before they travel. It is also important to reduce the chance of sexual transmission by using condoms.

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