Sexually transmitted Zika case confirmed in Texas

The WHO on Monday declared an global public health emergency due to Zika's link to thousands of recent birth defects in Brazil.

The virus is transmitted to people primarily through mosquito bites, but can also spread in other ways, including from mother to child and through infected blood or sexual contact.

On Tuesday, state health officials in North Carolina joined the CDC in warning travelers about areas where the Zika virus is being transmitted. The patient had sexual contact with a person who recently returned from a country where widespread Zika infections have been reported.

The Florida Department of Health is reporting six new cases of the Zika virus in Florida, bringing the statewide total to nine.

It's serious enough for the World Health Organization to deem Zika an "international public health emergency", at least for fertile women with skin and/or an active sex life. The CDC has already recommended that pregnant women postpone trips to more than two dozen countries with Zika outbreaks, mostly in Latin America and the Caribbean, including Venezuela. Symptoms are generally mild and can last for several days to a week.

The US has confirmed the first case of Zika contracted through sexual transmission in Dallas this evening. "What we know is the vast majority of spread is going to be from mosquitoes", Freidan added.

In a statement it said: "The finding of Zika cases in Ireland is not an unexpected event as many other European countries have reported cases as a result of travel to affected areas". US officials say that their mosquito control programs are effective enough to prevent a major outbreak.

Mosquitoes are the main transmitters of the Zika virus, though there have been a few cases where sexual transmission was suspected.

Doctor's advice: If you've traveled to a country where there have been Zika transmissions and develop a fever within 1-2 weeks of your return, Angarone suggests you visit a doctor.

So far, cases have been reported in 35 countries and territories, with Brazil among the worst affected. "In this instance there was no risk to a developing fetus". Death or hospitalisation from the virus is unusual, but it has been linked to congenital skull and brain abnormalities in new born babies.

Symptoms of the virus include rash, rash, joint pain and red eyes.

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