HealthDay News — Women planning to become pregnant should wait at least 8 weeks before trying to conceive if they or their partner live in – or are returning from – areas where Zika virus infections are occurring, U.N. health officials now recommend.

Mosquito bites remain the most common source of infection of the virus but transmission of the virus through sex is more common than previously thought, World Health Organization officials said Monday. They had previously recommended a 4-week abstinence before trying to conceive.

If the male partner has had symptoms of Zika infection, couples should wait 6 months before trying to have a baby, the WHO officials said.

“Independently of considerations regarding Zika virus, WHO always recommends the use of safer sexual practices including correct and consistent use of condoms to prevent HIV, other sexually transmitted infections, and unwanted pregnancies,” the authors of the interim guidance update write.

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