Zika virus can be transmitted sexually

Prevention against Zika virus has focused primarily on mosquito control until yesterday. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Dallas Health Departmenthave confirmed that someone got infected by intercourse with another who had traveled in a Zika-infected country. The former never left the country.

This new development will complicate efforts to contain the spread of the Zika virus, one day after the World Health Organization declared Zika a global health emergency. Zika infection is mild except for its deleterious effects on pregnant women, causing microcephaly in newborns.

Men who had traveled in any of the countries listed by the CDC are advised to use condoms. U.S. officials have not stated how long this restriction should remain in force. In the UK, public health authorities recommend a 28-day condom use to all men returning from a Zika-infested region.

In 2008 and 2013, scientists had suggested the possibility of sexual transmission of the Zika virus. This third reported case in Texas raises serious concerns because little is known on the permanence of the virus in the semen.