The Latest On Zika: More Sexually Transmitted Cases Of Zika Virus

The Zika virus, which is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, is strongly suspected to be linked to a new wave of microcephaly cases in Brazil. Babies born with the birth defect have smaller heads and sometimes brains that aren’t fully developed, which can result in life-long developmental problems.

Zika is currently spreading through Central and South America and the Caribbean, and with the high volume of news about the virus, it’s tough to stay up-to-date. Check out our full coverage, or read our daily recaps.

Here are four updates, opinions and developments to know about now:

1. The CDC is investigating 14 new reports of sexually transmitted Zika virus

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating 14 new reports of possible sexual transmission of Zika virus, some of which involve pregnant women. Two cases have been confirmed to be Zika virus, and preliminary laboratory evidence suggests that four others may be, but confirmation is pending. For the remaining eight patients, testing to detect and confirm Zika virus is ongoing.

For all of the cases in which information was available, the partner who had traveled to a Zika-affected area was a man. Each one reported Zika virus symptoms within two weeks of their female partners’ symptoms, suggesting the men transmitted the virus to their partners. The CDC notes there is currently no evidence women can transmit Zika virus to their partners, but more studies are needed.

Because sexual transmission of Zika virus appears to be a lot easier than originally thought, the CDC emphasized that travelers who have been to a an area with Zika virus transmission should protect their partners — especially a pregnant partner. These guidelines include practicing abstinence or using condoms during vaginal, oral or anal —> Read More