Zika could be another member added to the long list of sexually transmitted diseases as health authorities in Dallas, Texas, said on Tuesday that they had received confirmation of the first transmission of the Zika virus through sexual contact. Until now, health officials had focused on the Aedes aegypti mosquito as the primary carriers of the virus.
Health authorities said that the case involves a person in Dallas County who was infected with the virus after having sexual intercourse with his spouse who had just returned from a country where the Zika virus is present and active.
The authorities kept any other details about the person a secret but specified that the original infection occurred outside the United States.
“Now that we know Zika virus can be transmitted through sex, this increases our awareness campaign in educating the public about protecting themselves and others,” said Zachary Thompson, the director of health and human services in Dallas County.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and other public health authorities around the world are worried about the Zika virus and its effects especially on pregnant women and their babies. The virus is suspected of causing a birth defect called microcephaly through mother-to-child transmission. Babies born with microcephaly have unusually small heads and brains giving them a rather weird look.
Symptoms of the virus noticed in adults are relatively minor. They include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis lasting from several days to a week.
On Monday 2nd February, WHO declared a public health emergency over the virus, while Brazil will receive international help to counteract the outbreak and spread of the virus as the country that is most affected.
Hopefully, this will not be another HIV that will torment the world.