News / Health

    US Records First Sexually-Transmitted Case of Zika

    FILE - Aedes aegypti mosquitoes sit in a petri dish at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil, Jan. 27, 2016.
    FILE - Aedes aegypti mosquitoes sit in a petri dish at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil, Jan. 27, 2016.
    VOA News

    A county in the southwestern state of Texas on Tuesday reported what appears to be the first case of the Zika virus being transmitted in the United States by sexual contact.

    Officials in Dallas County say the patient was infected with Zika after having sexual contact with a sick individual who returned from a country where the virus is present. Health officials gave no information about the patients or where the traveler had visited.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control - the top federal public health agency - has confirmed the Texas case, but says it has not yet investigated. In an email to VOA, the CDC said it "confirmed through laboratory testing the first U.S. case of Zika virus infection in a non-traveler in the continental United States."

    It said that in this case, there was no risk to a developing fetus.

    Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff told lawmakers Tuesday her government will spare no expense in fighting the mosquito that experts say carries the virus and poses the greatest danger to pregnant women.

    "My entire government is working on fighting this emergency. There will be no lack of funding and I'm certain that I will be able to count on the Congress' support," she said in a speech. "We will partner up with the U.S. government, with President Obama with whom we have spoken, to establish our capacity and improve it in order to develop as quickly as possible a vaccine for the Zika virus."

    Vaccine in works

    French pharmaceutical company Sanofi said Tuesday it has begun research and development of a vaccine for the virus, which is named for a forest in Uganda where the mosquito-borne virus was first identified in 1947. There is currently no treatment for Zika.

    It causes no symptoms in 80 percent of people bitten by the Aedes mosquito, but is a threat to pregnant women.

    The World Health Organization says the virus is strongly suspected to cause microcephaly -- a disease that causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads.

    The WHO has declared the Zika virus a global public health emergency and predicts 4 million people could be infected between now and the end of the year.

    Twenty-four countries confirmed Zika cases at the end of January, mostly in Central and South America. But that list is almost certain to grow because of global travel.

    Chile reported its first case of the virus Tuesday in a man who traveled abroad.

    Zika is of greatest concern in Brazil, where the virus was found last year. Brazil has reported nearly 4,000 suspected cases of microcephaly since October, with only 150 cases in 2014.  

    Brazil also is hosting this year's Summer Olympic games.

    The International Red Cross is calling for $2.3 million in emergency funding to combat Zika in Latin America.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora