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Transmission of Zika virus through sexual contact with travelers to areas of ongoing transmission — continental United States, 2016
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    Recommendations for pregnant women considering travel to an area of Zika virus transmission -- Recommendations for pregnant women with history of travel to an area of Zika virus transmission -- How to treat pregnant women with diagnoses of Zika virus disease.

    Zika virus is a flavivirus closely related to dengue, West Nile, and yellow fever viruses. Although spread is primarily by Aedes species mosquitoes, two instances of sexual transmission of Zika virus have been reported (1,2), and replicative virus has been isolated from semen of one man with hematospermia (3). On February 5, 2016, CDC published recommendations for preventing sexual transmission of Zika virus (4). Updated prevention guidelines were published on February 23.* During February 6–22, 2016, CDC received reports of 14 instances of suspected sexual transmission of Zika virus. Among these, two laboratory-confirmed cases and four probable cases of Zika virus disease have been identified among women whose only known risk factor was sexual contact with a symptomatic male partner with recent travel to an area with ongoing Zika virus transmission. Two instances have been excluded based on additional information, and six others are still under investigation. State, territorial, and local public health departments, clinicians, and the public should be aware of current recommendations for preventing sexual transmission of Zika virus, particularly to pregnant women (4). Men who reside in or have traveled to an area of ongoing Zika virus transmission and have a pregnant partner should abstain from sexual activity or consistently and correctly use condoms during sex with their pregnant partner for the duration of the pregnancy (4).

    Zika virus disease is an arboviral disease and a nationally notifiable condition in the United States (5). For the purposes of this report, a confirmed or probable case of sexually transmitted Zika virus disease was defined as an illness meeting the confirmed or probable arbovirus surveillance case definition in a person whose only known risk factor was sexual contact with a partner who recently traveled to an area with ongoing Zika virus transmission (6).

    During February 6–22, 2016, two confirmed and four probable cases of Zika virus sexual transmission were reported to CDC by health officials from multiple states. Median patient age was 22.5 years (range = 19–55 years), and several women were pregnant. In all cases where type of sexual contact was documented, the contact included condomless vaginal intercourse and occurred when the male partner was symptomatic or shortly after symptoms resolved. Three illustrative cases are presented.

    Suggested citation for this article: Hills SL, Russell K, Hennessey M, et al. Transmission of Zika Virus Through Sexual Contact with Travelers to Areas of Ongoing Transmission — Continental United States, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 26 February 2016. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6508e2er.


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