Confirmed: Zika Spread Through Intercourse

Authorities in Dallas County, Tex. said they have confirmed the first case of the mosquito-borne Zika virus being acquired via sexual contact.

In a statement sent to The Washington Post, the Dallas County Health and Human Services department said the patient was infected with the virus after having sexual contact with someone who visited a country where the virus is present.

Officials in Dallas said they were contacted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who said this was the first known case of someone being infected by the virus in the U.S.

Other cases in the country have all involved people who recently returned from Zika-affected regions.

“CDC has confirmed through laboratory testing the first U.S. case of Zika virus infection in a non-traveler in the continental United States,” the agency said in the statement.

“According to a Dallas County Health Department investigation, a person who recently traveled to an area with Zika virus transmission returned to the United States and developed  Zika-like symptoms. The person later tested positive for Zika, along with their sexual partner, who had not traveled to the area.”

On Monday, the World Health Organization declared the virus a global health emergency. The Zika virus has been linked to an influx of birth defects in Brazil.

The CDC is advising that residents avoid exposure to semen from someone who has been exposed to Zika virus or has been ill from Zika virus infection, and prevent mosquito bites.