First asymptomatic case of sexual Zika transmission reported in US

In June, a Maryland woman sought treatment for a fever and rash. Laboratory testing confirmed a Zika infection and a subsequent investigation revealed the infection was transmitted sexually from a man who never displayed symptoms of infection, according to a recent statement from the CDC.

The couple engaged in unprotected vaginal intercourse twice after the man's return from the Dominican Republic. The first sexual encounter occurred 10 days after his return and the second encounter occurred 14 days after. The more recent sexual encounter involved oral sex, which has also been linked to Zika transmission.

According to CNN, John Brooks, MD, a medical epidemiologist with the CDC, said, "This is not surprising. Our recommendations had considered the transmission from a person who seems otherwise healthy, because four out of five people who are infected with Zika won't develop symptoms."

Zika infection has been linked to several birth defects in fetuses, most notably microcephaly, in which the infant is born with a small cranium and underdeveloped brain. As of Aug. 18, there have been 584 cases of pregnant women exhibiting laboratory evidence of Zika in the U.S.

"Pregnant couples need to defer unprotected sexual contact for the entire pregnancy, even if the exposed partner never develops symptoms of Zika," said Dr. Brooks. "A few months of precautions can prevent devastating lifelong defects for the developing fetus."

More articles on the Zika virus: 
Planned Parenthood joins Miami Zika education outreach efforts 
Florida Zika update: New local case reported in Palm Beach County, Gov. calls on feds for aid 
Johns Hopkins opens world's first multidisciplinary Zika virus center

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