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Zika Virus May Be Transmitted Through Oral Sex

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by Khatrina Bonagua | Jun 7, 2016
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After studying a single case in France, scientists have raised the possibility that the Zika Virus may be transmitted through oral sex.

In the French case, a man returned to Paris from Rio de Janeiro on February 10, he experienced Zika-like symptoms in Brazil—fever, headache, and a rash—that ended when he reached France.

He and his partner had sex seven times between February 11 and February 20, each involving vaginal sex without ejaculation and oral sex with ejaculation. The woman fell ill on February 20.

On February 23, both were tested for Zika infection. The findings: The man had high levels of the virus in his semen and urine, but none in his blood or saliva. The woman, on the other hand, had the virus in her urine and saliva, and antibodies to the virus in her blood. The vaginal swab though, was negative for the infection.

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The case is not yet definite, as doctors cannot entirely prove that the virus was transmitted via oral sex as they only based it on the couple's recollections of their intercourse. Yet, it does bring up the possibility that Zika can be transmitted more ways than vaginal intercourse and mosquito bites.

Scientists now believe that sexual transmission is an important factor in the Zika epidemic around the globe. Cases have been reported in 10 countries, where no mosquitoes carry the virus, including France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and New Zealand.

So if you came from these countries and have Zika-like symptoms such as rashes, fever, red eyes, and painful joints or muscles, the World Health Organization advises that aside from getting checked, you should practice safe sex or consider abstaining for at least six months to avoid spreading the virus.

 

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