Sunday, 20 August, 2017

Florida confirms its first sexually transmitted case of Zika in 2017

8 Methods to Prevent Zika When Traveling County LatinContent Getty Images
Jerome Frank | 03 August, 2017, 01:05

The first case of sexually transmitted Zika has been confirmed in Pinellas County, the Florida Department of Health announced on Tuesday. The agency also encourages residents to dump out any standing water around their home where mosquitos that carry the Zika virus like to breed.

It added that mosquito control had been notified and appropriate "mosquito reduction activities" were taking place.

To date in 2017, Florida has reported a total of 118 Zika virus cases, including 6 locally acquired infections exposed in 2016, tested in 2017.

Officials said there is no evidence of transmission of the Zika virus through mosquitoes now taking place anywhere in Florida.

"The viral loads in the saliva in general are low, but there are also anti-microbial components in saliva making that low level of virus even less infectious than it might be in another medium", Christina Newman, co-first author of the study with Dudley and also a scientist with the UW-Madison Zika Experimental Science Team, said in a statement. The Bronx has the most travel-related Zika cases with 29 reported through July 21 this year and 342 in 2016, followed by Brooklyn, with 22 and 265, Manhattan, with 25 and 199, and Staten Island, with 1 and 9.

The mosquito-borne illness is especially risky for pregnant women and has been linked to serious birth defects.

However, all three monkeys who had high-dose virus applied directly to their tonsils in the absence of saliva got infected (though the infection took slightly longer to develop than in monkeys infected under their skin), the researchers said. Pregnant couples with recent travel to areas with active Zika transmission should consider using condoms for the duration of the pregnancy.

In better Tampa Bay health news, Florida's Department of Health issued two licenses for medical marijuana growing in Ruskin.

Just last week, Texas health officials confirmed a Zika case most likely contracted through a mosquito bite. This case study highlights the importance of using condoms during sexual intercourse after visiting a Zika-infected area in addition to using mosquito repellents and barriers.

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