Breaking News: Zika can be Sexually Transmitted

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by,

Suzanne Coleman, MD

According to medscape.com, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has just announced a confirmed case of Zika virus infection which was caused by sexual contact with an infected person.

Zika is the virus which has been linked to microcephaly in newborns in many areas, especially in Brazil, over the past few months.  The CDC has recommended that women take precautions if they are pregnant or may become pregnant.

Now that they know that Zika can be transmitted via sexual contact, more information is needed on how this can be prevented so that people do not become infected.  Avoiding all sexual contact with someone who may be infected is the wisest choice until more information is released.  The CDC does not say whether or not a condom will stop a partner from becoming infected.

This also brings up the question of whether or not the virus can be transmitted between people by other means, like kissing, sharing food or drinks, shaking hands, coughing/sneezing, etc.

Other questions include:  Why has this suddenly become so problematic, as this virus has existed for years if not longer?  If someone is infected, do the virus and its effects clear up after the person gets better, or is this a longer-term problem?  Hopefully the CDC will publicly release additional details as soon as they have them.

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