Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Zika and Sexual Transmission

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Zika and Sexual Transmission

Article excerpt

Governments in countries where Zika virus is circulating should ensure that people who are infected, and their sexual partners, are informed about the risks of sexual transmission of the virus and provided with condoms according to updated WHO guidance.

Zika virus has recently become associated with adverse foetal outcomes, including microcephaly, as well as neurological complications and Guillain-Barre syndrome. The virus is primarily transmitted by the bite of the Aedes aegyptii mosquito, but there is increasing evidence of sexual transmission.

In the updated guidance, WHO recommended that countries where the virus is circulating should ensure that women who have had unprotected sex, and do not wish to become pregnant due to concerns about Zika virus infection, have ready access to emergency contraceptive services and counselling.

Public health authorities in these countries should ensure that men and women of reproductive age receive counselling and evidence-based information to allow them to make informed decisions about any plans for pregnancy.

In addition, the sexual partners of pregnant women, living in or returning from areas where local transmission of Zika virus has been established, should practice safe sex or abstinence during the pregnancy. …

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