On Monday, U.S. health officials provided new Zika virus guidelines, warning pregnant women that they could contract the virus from a sex partner of either gender.
It was reported that the virus can cause serious birth defects including microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with abnormally small heads and brains.
Across the United States, 400 pregnant women have exhibited possible infection of the virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It was just last week when the first recorded female-to-male transmission of the virus was propounded. The update follows last week’s report.
According to Reuters, U.S. health officials have warned that the virus can be transmitted through unprotected sex with an infected female partner. It is true that mosquitoes act as the most common form of transmission, but sexual transmission can also occur male-to-female, female-to-male, or female-to-female.
“CDC recommends that all pregnant women with sex partners (male or female), who live in or traveled to an area with Zika, use condoms during sex or abstain from sex for the remainder of their pregnancy,” the agency said.
The CDC also clarified that sex includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex, and may also include the sharing of sex toys.
The agency stated that if a pregnant woman believes she might have been exposed to the virus, either through a mosquito or sexual contact, she should get tested.
“New information has indicated that some infected pregnant women can have evidence of Zika virus in their blood for longer than the previously recommended seven-day window,” the CDC stated.
Medical Xpress reported that Brazil acted as the epicenter of the Zika epidemic till today. Other Latin American and Caribbean nations have also shown evidences of infections.