Men can contract Zika through unprotected sex with other men who are infected with the virus, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday, a finding that adds to experts’ understanding of how Zika can be transmitted.
The CDC said a case of sexual transmission that occurred in Dallas in January — and was reported in the mainstream media in early February — involved two men. It was only the second reported case of sexual transmission of Zika ever, and the first in which sexual spread was observed between two men.
While gay men who want to avoid Zika infection should take note, the lesson here applies to both men and women: Zika infection can be contracted through unprotected anal sex.
The Dallas case involved a man who had been infected with the virus while traveling in Venezuela. Two days after he returned home, his symptoms developed. A week after his return, his longtime partner, who had not traveled outside the country, became ill.
The investigators tried to rule out the possibility that the second man might have been infected locally by a mosquito. Mosquito traps set up around the couple’s home collected some Culex mosquitoes, but no Aedes moquitoes, the type believed to be the main culprit in spread of Zika virus.Wired has details about zika infection:
The effects and symptoms of Zika virus can vary widely from person to person. In most people, the virus causes a mild disease lasting between two and seven days, with key symptoms including fever, rash, aches, conjunctivitis and eye pain.
However, in a minority of people, Zika has been found to cause Guillain-Barré syndrome, an auto-immune disease which makes the immune system attack the body’s nerve cells, resulting in weakness of the muscles and even paralysis. The effects typically last between a few weeks and a few months, but are sometimes permanent. Other neurological and autoimmune diseases, including acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, have also been linked to Zika.
The most notorious effect of the virus is its now-confirmed ability to cause foetal abnormalities if a pregnant woman contracts it. Following a study published by The New England Journal of Medicine, Dr Tom Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that “it is now clear that the virus causes microcephaly.”(Tipped by JMG reader Michael)