CDC Confirms Zika Virus Can Be Transmitted Through Unprotected Sex

Graham Gremore

A transmission electron micrograph of Zika virus

Oh, great. As if we didn’t have enough problems already.

The CDC just announced that men can contract Zika through unprotected anal sex with other men infected with the virus.

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So far, seven cases of sexual transmission of the virus have been reported in the United States. One of those cases involved a Dallas man who was infected with the virus while traveling in Venezuela. Two days after returning to the U.S., his symptoms developed. A week later, his partner, who had not traveled outside the country, also tested positive for the virus.

It is still not clear if the virus can be transmitted through kissing or oral sex, but scientists have noted that the virus is found in both saliva and semen.

“The take-home message is you have to consider any kind of intimate contact between an infected person with Zika and a non-infected person as a potential risk situation, regardless of gender,” Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, tells STAT.

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