17:49 GMT +323 September 2017
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    Chile Confirms First Sexually Transmitted Zika Virus Infection Case

    © REUTERS/ Paulo Whitaker
    Latin America
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    The Chilean Health Ministry has confirmed the country's first case of a sexually transmitted Zika virus infection.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — "The case is of a 46 year old woman who had unprotected sex with a man infected by Zika in Haiti…This is the first documented case of a sexually transmitted Zika virus in continental Chile, where the Aedes aegypti mosquito that transmits the disease is not present," the ministry said in a statement, published on its website on Saturday.

    Chile's Health Ministry had previously recorded 10 cases of confirmed Zika infections contracted abroad, with eight of these occurring in 2016.

    In Saturday's statement, the ministry advised to abstain from unprotected sexual activity for at least four weeks after returning from areas where Zika virus transmissions have been recorded.

    On Thursday, the World Health Organization published a Zika situation report stating that Argentina, France, Italy, New Zealand and the United States have experienced Zika transmissions in the absence of mosquito vectors, with sexual contact being the likely cause.

    The Zika virus is transmitted by daytime-active mosquitoes. The current outbreak originated in Brazil in the spring of 2015. Since then the virus has spread across Latin America and began to draw international media attention in February, when the first cases in Europe and the United States were confirmed. Over 1.5 million people have been infected with the virus in Brazil since the outbreak began.

    Zika does not cause serious complications in adults, but is suspected of leading to severe brain defects and cases of microcephaly in newborns.


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