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Wednesday
Aug022017

Florida confirms its first sexually transmitted case of Zika in 2017

iStock/Thinkstock(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) -- Florida has confirmed the state's first sexually transmitted case of Zika for this year, health officials said.

The Florida Department of Health announced in a statement Tuesday that the case was reported in Pinellas County. A resident's partner showed symptoms of the mosquito-borne virus following a recent trip to Cuba. Both patients tested positive for Zika.

"There is no evidence of ongoing transmission of Zika by mosquitoes in any area of Florida," the health department said. "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."

There have been 118 Zika cases reported in Florida this year, with the majority linked to travel outside the continental United States. The locally acquired infections confirmed this year were all linked to exposure to the virus in 2016, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The Zika virus is most commonly transmitted via infected mosquitoes, but in rare cases has been transmitted through sexual contact. The virus usually results in minor symptoms such as fever, rash, joint pain and pink eye. However, Zika has been found to cause devastating birth defects such as microcephaly.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends that men diagnosed with Zika wait six months before having unprotected sex so that they do not infect their partner. Infected men who have a pregnant partner are advised to wear barrier contraception for the duration of the pregnancy.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not routinely test donated sperm for Zika, but it does forbid anonymous donors for six months if they have been diagnosed with the virus, traveled to an affected area or had sex with someone who may have been infected.

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