ZIKA Virus Can Now Be Sexually Transmitted

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Updated: February 2, 2016

Reports coming out of the Centre for Disease Control and several international media outlets are that the transmission of the ZIKA virus has gone from being a disease gotten from a species of the Aedes Egypti mosquito to a disease that can now be had through sexual transmission.  According to the Washington Post the first case of a person infected via sexual activity has been confirmed in Houston, Texas, USA.  In the online article by The Washington Post, “the Dallas County Health and Human Services department said the patient was infected with the virus after having sexual contact with a sick person who returned from a country where ZIKA virus is present. Dallas authorities said they received confirmation that the patient was infected from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.  End of quote.  Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has issued a statement saying that a disease linked to the Zika virus in Latin America poses a global public health emergency requiring a united response.  That disease linked to the ZIKA virus is one where babies are born with under-developed brains and is called MICROCEPHALY.  The World Health Organization alert has put ZIKA in the same category of concern as EBOLA and they have declared the ZIKA virus a global public health emergency on Monday, following a recommendation by a committee of independent experts.  The Centre for Disease Control is reportedly now saying that the best way to avoid Zika virus infection is to prevent mosquito bites AND to avoid exposure to semen from someone who has been exposed to Zika virus or has been ill from Zika virus infection.  The name, ZIKA comes from Uganda where the virus was first noted in 1947.  In the 1950s, the ZIKA virus was only present in the area from Africa to Asia.  By 2014, the ZIKA virus spread eastward across to the Pacific Ocean to French Polynesia and in 2015 it carried on in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and South America where the ZIKA outbreak had reached pandemic levels. Aside from issuing preventative measures to take some months ago, the local health authorities have not said much about the ZIKA virus despite the presence of the disease in all of Belize’s neighbouring countries.