Women are capable of passing a Zika infection to their male sexual partners, according to new research released Friday.
For the first time, public health officials report that a woman transmitted the virus to her male partner during sex. All previously reported cases of sexually transmitted Zika infection have been spread from men.
But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a New York City woman in her 20s had intercourse with a male partner, who did not wear a condom, the day she returned from a Zika-affected region outside the United States.
The next day, the CDC report says, the woman developed symptoms of Zika illness: fever, fatigue, rash, joint and back pain, swelling, numbness and tingling in her hands and feet. That same day, the woman also started her menstrual period. Two days later, she went to her primary care doctor, who took blood and urine samples and sent them to the New York City Health Department lab for testing. The tests were positive, showing the presence of virus in her blood and urine.
A week after the couple had sex, the man developed fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. He went to the same doctor who had diagnosed Zika infection in the woman. The doctor suspected sexual transmission of the virus and alerted the health department. The man, who also is in his 20s, had not traveled outside the country during the year before his illness, did not have other recent sexual partners and had not been bitten by a mosquito in the week before he got sick. Blood and urine samples were collected from the man, who tested positive for the virus in his urine.
New York City health officials who investigated the case said the virus present in the woman’s vaginal fluids or menstrual blood was likely transmitted to her male partner through urethral mucous or undetected abrasions on his penis.
SOURCE: Lena H. Sun
The Washington Post