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Chile reports its first sexually transmitted Zika virus case

The Chilean health ministry has warned people against unprotected sex to prevent the spread of Zika virus.

Written by Agencies |Published : March 27, 2016 5:35 PM IST

Zika virus is a deadly vector-borne disease and has been declared as a public health emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Watch out for symptoms like mild fever, fatigue, headache, conjunctivitis, skin rash and muscle/joint pain. Zika virus can also be transmitted sexually or through saliva or urine. Pregnant women, especially, have been advised to stay safe as it can pass from the mother to the baby. You can prevent Zika by following some essential tips like wear clothes that cover your entire body, using mosquito repellents and so on.

The Chilean health ministry has confirmed the first case of sexually transmitted Zika virus in the country; the media reported on Sunday. The 46-year-old woman was infected with the virus as she had unprotected sex with her partner, who was infected with Zika in Haiti, said the ministry on Saturday. This is the first case of the virus being sexually transmitted in mainland Chile, where the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the disease, does not exist, Xinhua news agency quoted the ministry as saying. The ministry warned against unprotected sex among people at risk as the majority of the infections caused by the Zika virus are symptomless.

They should consider practicing safe sex or abstaining from sexual activity for at least four weeks after they return (to Chile from risk countries). In the case of pregnant women, this care should be taken during their whole gestation period, the ministry added. There have been 10 confirmed imported Zika cases in Chile, eight of them in 2016.

Source: IANS

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