Sexually transmitted Zika case confirmed

FROM THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

A person in Pinellas County has been infected with the Zika virus through sexual transmission, the first case of its kind in Florida in 2017, the state Department of Health said Tuesday.

An announcement by the department did not identify the person or list the person’s gender. But the announcement indicated a sexual partner might have contracted the mosquito-borne disease in Cuba.

From Cuba travel?
“While the (Pinellas County) individual had no travel, their partner recently traveled to Cuba and was ill with symptoms consistent with Zika,” the announcement said. “Both tested positive for Zika. The department notified mosquito control and appropriate mosquito reduction activities are taking place.”

The department said it does not have any evidence that transmission is occurring through mosquitoes in Florida.

“It is important to remember Zika can also be transmitted sexually and to take precautions if you or your partner traveled to an area where Zika is active,” the announcement said.

“If the department identifies an area where ongoing transmission of Zika is taking place, we will notify the public immediately.”

Most ‘travel-related’
The state has had 118 reported Zika cases in 2017, with 90 classified as “travel related” – meaning people were infected elsewhere and brought the virus into the state. Other cases involve people who were exposed to the disease in 2016 and were tested in 2017.

Zika, which particularly caused problems last year in Miami-Dade County, is dangerous to pregnant women because it can lead to severe birth defects.

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