News / Health

    US Officials Confirm Zika Virus Transmitted Through Sex

    A blood samples from pregnant women are analyzed for the presence of the Zika virus, at Guatemalan Social Security maternity hospital in Guatemala City, Feb. 2, 2016.
    A blood samples from pregnant women are analyzed for the presence of the Zika virus, at Guatemalan Social Security maternity hospital in Guatemala City, Feb. 2, 2016.
    VOA News

    A county in the southwestern state of Texas 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 said Tuesday the patient was infected with Zika after having sexual contact with a sick individual who returned from a country where the virus is present.

    The county later reported on Twitter that the infected person had recently traveled to Venezuela.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — the top federal public health agency — has confirmed the Texas case initially reported.

    Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the CDC, confirmed via Twitter message Tuesday that the reported case was transmitted to the infected person's sexual partner, who had not left the United States.

    And 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 [Barack] 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."

    Brazilian soldiers conduct an inspection for the Aedes aegypti mosquito as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the Zika virus, along a street in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Feb. 1, 2016.
    Brazilian soldiers conduct an inspection for the Aedes aegypti mosquito as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the Zika virus, along a street in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Feb. 1, 2016.

    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.

    Threat to pregnant women

    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 said 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.

    FILE - Pietro Rafael, who has microcephaly, reacts to stimulus during an evaluation session with a physiotherapist at the Altino Ventura rehabilitation center in Recife, Brazil, Jan. 28, 2016.
    FILE - Pietro Rafael, who has microcephaly, reacts to stimulus during an evaluation session with a physiotherapist at the Altino Ventura rehabilitation center in Recife, Brazil, Jan. 28, 2016.

    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.

    WATCH: Who advice for pregnant women

    WHO Advice for Pregnant Womeni
    X
    February 02, 2016 7:16 PM
    Anthony Costello of the World Health Organization says that there is no trade, or travel ban being issued by WHO but the number one priority is to advice women, particularly women who are pregnant or at risk of pregnancy, to take every possible measure for personal protection against being bitten by a mosquito. Costello stressed the need for mass community engagement, mobilization of women's groups, ante natal groups and of partners who are going to do a lot to control spread of the disease.

    You May Like

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: rick
    February 03, 2016 5:56 AM
    It would be nice if the "person" who got zike thru sex was identified as man or woman. Also the sex of the partner. Is it to much to answer the obvious question?

    by: DHAM Singh MEHRA
    February 03, 2016 4:42 AM
    W H O should have to give new safety guide lines so every country take necessary action to save people s from mosquito who are responsible for dengue . Zika viruses and scientist should given.much more faculty so they can develop vaccine for all viruses

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United Statesi
    X
    July 28, 2016 2:16 AM
    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora