CDC: New Insights Into Zika Sexual Transmission and Ties to Guillain Barré
HealthDay News — U.S. health officials report that the Zika virus can be spread sexually even when a partner shows no signs of infection. The research was published in the August 26 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
A Maryland woman who had not traveled to an active Zika area was diagnosed with the virus in June after having condomless sex with a man who had been to the Dominican Republic, according to the CDC. The Zika virus is circulating in the Dominican Republic, but the man had experienced no Zika symptoms, such as fever, pink eye, or rash. Testing confirmed that he had been exposed to Zika.
"As more is learned about the incidence and duration of seminal shedding of Zika virus in infected men, recommendations to prevent sexual transmission of Zika virus will be updated if needed," the CDC researchers write.
A second CDC report adds to knowledge about the link between Zika and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). Since Puerto Rico's first Zika diagnosis last December, cases of GBS there have dramatically increased, the CDC reported. Fifty-six suspected cases of GBS were reported the first seven months of 2016, of which 34 were linked to infection with Zika or an unspecified flavivirus. "Overall, the number of persons with suspected GBS and evidence of Zika virus or flavivirus infection was 2.5 times greater than the number of persons with suspected GBS and no evidence of Zika virus infection," the report authors write.