First sexually transmitted case of Zika confirmed in Florida in 2017

First sexually transmitted case of Zika confirmed in Florida in 2017

First sexually transmitted case of Zika confirmed in Florida in 2017

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Health announced August 1 that the first sexually transmitted Zika case in 2017 had been confirmed in Pinellas County.

According to Florida health officials, the infected resident's partner recently traveled to Cuba and was unwell with symptoms consistent with Zika virus.

Casual contact like kissing or sharing a fork or spoon does not increase the risk of transmission of Zika virus as the infection may not spread through saliva, United States researchers have found.

Officials want to warn the public to take precautions if you or your partner traveled to an area where Zika is active.

In a news release, the Florida Department of Health said mosquito control had been notified and the appropriate measures to reduce mosquito actives were being taken.

The virus can also be spread by sexual intercourse, but it has been unclear whether the saliva of an infected person posed a danger.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that men diagnosed with Zika wait six months before having unprotected sex so that they do not infect their partner.

Zika can persist in semen over extended periods of time.

The National Institutes of Health started a phase II trial of a Zika vaccine in March with thousands of human participants in the U.S. Scientists hope to complete the study by 2019. Florida health officials tallied 1,456 Zika infections for 2016. It can also cause severe brain-related birth defects due to infection during pregnancy.

Zika virus is a flavivirus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, which are found throughout much of the Americas and are also responsible for the transmission of dengue fever and chikungunya fever.

Last week, Texas health officials reported a Zika infection likely contracted through a mosquito bite in recent months.

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