18:48 GMT +327 September 2016
A banner is seen during an information campaign on Zika virus by the Chilean Health Ministry at the departures area of Santiago's international airport, Chile, January 28, 2016

First Case of Sexually-Transmitted Zika Virus Confirmed in Texas

© REUTERS/ Ivan Alvarado
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The Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) in the US state of Texas has received confirmation of the first sexually-transmitted Zika virus case, DCHHS Director Zachary Thompson said in a press release on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The recent Zika outbreak originated in Brazil and has spread throughout Latin America. Cases of Zika virus infections have been registered in 27 states across the globe, including in the Americas, the South Pacific as well as in some European countries.

"Now that we know Zika virus can be transmitted through sex, this increases our awareness campaign in educating the public about protecting themselves and others," Thompson stated.

The DCHHS explained the patient got infected with the Zika virus after engaging in a sexual contact with an already infected individual, who has previously visited a country with a Zika outbreak.

“Next to abstinence, condoms are the best prevention method against any sexually-transmitted infections,” Thompson noted.

The Zika virus is transmitted by daytime-active mosquitoes and primarily affects monkeys and humans.

A causal relationship between the Zika virus and neurological disorders, including microcephaly causing babies to be born with small heads, is strongly suspected, but has not yet been confirmed.

On Monday, the World Health Organization declared a global emergency due to the rapid spread of the Zika virus.

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