At least 14 reports of sexually transmitted Zika virus cases are under investigation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A new health alert from the agency was issued as a “strong reminder” to the public and medical providers that the virus can be transmitted through sexual contact. The new high number of cases led the CDC to acknowledge that “sexual transmission may be a more likely means of transmission for Zika virus than previously considered.”
The CDC announced that of the 14 reported cases of sexually transmitted Zika virus, “several” involved pregnant women.
While the Zika virus is spread primarily through mosquitoes, in rare cases it has been transmitted through blood transfusions and sexual contact. So far, more than 100 people throughout the United States have been diagnosed with the virus. Prior to these recent 14 cases, only one case of sexually transmitted Zika virus had been confirmed in Dallas, Texas.
Currently, the CDC is advising that men with pregnant partners abstain from sexual activity or use barrier protection for the duration of the pregnancy. They also advise men concerned about the virus use condoms or abstain from sex, even if their partners are not pregnant.