Ohio’s first case of Zika virus through sexual transmission

Published: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 @ 4:05 PM
Updated: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 @ 4:14 PM


            The Zika virus is becoming a growing threat in the state of Ohio. Find out what it is that you need to do to help protect yourselves.
The Zika virus is becoming a growing threat in the state of Ohio. Find out what it is that you need to do to help protect yourselves.

The Ohio Department of Health has announced the state’s first case of Zika virus through sexual transmission.

A 61-year-old woman in Lucas County has contracted the virus after her husband traveled to a country with active Zika virus transmission. She is the 16th case in Ohio.

The husband’s diagnosis is the state’s 15th travel-associated case, according to the health department.

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“Travelers to areas with active Zika virus transmission should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites, which is the primary way you can contract the virus,” said Dr. Mary DiOrio, medical director of the Ohio Department of Health, in a release. “When travelers return home, they should follow CDC guidance to prevent sexual transmission of the virus, especially to pregnant women or women or may become pregnant.”

Health officials are increasing mosquito assessment and control measures in the area to reduce the risk of local mosquitoes becoming infected by biting them and spreading the virus to others, according to ODH.

Across the U.S. there have been 755 travel-related cases and 12 cases acquired through sex.

While Zika virus can spread through sexual transmission, there is no indication that it can spread from person to person through casual contact.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer the following guidance, based on evidence of a link between Zika virus and certain birth defects:

  • Couples in which the man has confirmed Zika virus or symptoms of the infection should wait at least six months after symptoms began before having unprotected sex.
  • During that time frame, the couple should consider using a condom or abstaining from sexual activity.
  • If the woman is pregnant, this applies for the duration of the pregnancy.
  • Couples in which the man travels to a Zika-affected area but returns without symptoms of the virus should consider using a condom or abstaining from sexual activity for at least eight weeks after his possible exposure.
  • Couples with possible Zika virus exposure who want to try to get pregnant should consult with their health care provider.

 

Eighty percent of people infected with the Zika virus do not have any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they include fever, rash, joint and muscle pain, red eyes and headache.

For more information about the Zika virus including sexual transmission, visit www.odh.ohio.gov.