However, he said that more information is needed on those findings, including the methodology behind them, and the recent guidelines do not address kissing. The first was “probable sexual transmission of Zika virus from a man to a woman, in which sexual contact occurred a few days before the man’s symptoms began”. In that case, officials said a man returned from Venezuela, where there are existing cases of the virus, and infected a partner through sex. But U.S. health officials detected a case of sexual transmission of the disease in Texas this week and in Brazil, officials said they had confirmed the virus was contracted via blood transfusions. It is now telling men who have been to areas with outbreaks of the Zika virus to consistently use condoms during sex with pregnant women.
Zika was discovered in a Ugandan forest in 1947 and until previous year, the virus had never caused serious disease. “Presence of virus in saliva doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily transmissible that way”. In addition, pregnant women who have traveled to such areas should be tested within two to 12 weeks even if they don’t show symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Everything that we’ve seen with not just Zika but dengue and chikungunya – spread by the same mosquito – suggests that this is the overwhelming cause and route of transmission”, Frieden said Friday.
Virginia’s U.S. Senators, Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, are calling for additional funding to prevent transmission of the virus in the Unites States, and to counter the spread of the disease in Puerto Rico, where it is already present.
The mosquito-borne virus has spread to at least 29 countries.
US officials have recommended pregnant women postpone trips to more than two dozen countries with Zika outbreaks, mostly in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“Each discovery is a surprise and a new find for us”, she said.
Researchers also are investigating a possible link between Zika infection and Guillain-Barre syndrome, a condition that involves temporary paralysis.
Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a public health emergency on Wednesday in four counties with travel-related cases of the Zika virus. In a statement Friday to The Associated Press, the health ministry said that it’s sending a set of Zika samples to USA health authorities.
Zika, which usually causes mild illness, has been linked to about 4,000 suspected cases of microcephaly, or small heads, in infants in Brazil.
Keaten reported from Geneva.