HealthDay News — Pregnant women with a male sexual partner who has traveled to, or lives in, an area affected by active Zika virus transmission should refrain from sex or use condoms during sex until the pregnancy is over, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised on Thursday.

The CDC said the precaution is in place “until we know more” about the dangers of sexual transmission of the mosquito-borne virus, which is linked to thousands of cases of microcephaly in newborns in Brazil. Speaking at a Friday morning news conference, CDC director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, also said the agency is investigating Brazilian research that detected Zika virus in patients’ saliva and urine. At this point, however, the CDC’s guidance to pregnant women does not include anything about kissing, he said.

On Tuesday, local health officials in Texas confirmed a case of Zika virus infection that was transmitted by sex, and not by the bite of a mosquito. The Dallas County Health and Human Services Department said that an unidentified patient had become infected with the Zika virus after having sex with an individual who had returned from Venezuela, one of the Latin American countries where Zika is circulating.


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In the new advisory, the CDC added two new countries, Jamaica and Tonga, to its travel alert list of nations that pregnant women should avoid due to ongoing Zika virus transmission.

Reference

Oster A, Brooks J, Stryker J et al. Interim Guidelines for Prevention of Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus — United States, 2016. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65(5):1-2. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6505e1er.