First case of sexually transmitted Zika in Florida confirmed by Florida Health Department

The first case of sexually transmitted (STD) Zika has been confirmed in Pinellas County, the Florida Department of Health announced on Tuesday.

The department stated that there was no evidence of transmission through mosquitoes taking place in Florida.

Florida Department of health said the individuals partner had traveled to Cuba and also had symptoms of Zika. The pair had tested positive for the virus.

The department said they would notify the public if they identify an area where there was an ongoing transmission of the virus.

One hundred eighteen cases of Zika have been reported in Florida in 2017, according to the Florida Department of health.

Study Shows How Zika Is Sexually Transmitted

A new study using mice is provinding more evidence that the Zika virus spreads sexually, and it might be just as dangerous for babies as if a woman got bitten by a mosquito. The vaginal mucosal environment is permissive to the replication of Zika virus and infection through that route can lead to fetal brain infection even in mice with an intact immune system. Not only does the virus live and replicate in the vagina, but it can then infect a fetus directly, the researchers report in the journal Cell.

“The Zika virus appears to have a niche within the vagina,” said Akiko Iwasaki, an immunobiologist at Yale University who led the research team.

“We see from our model that it’s a place where the virus can replicate for an extended period of time, and in pregnant mice, vaginal infection can lead to brain infection of the fetus and growth restriction.”

Zika Mosquitoes Are in More Places Than You Thought According to the CDC

The mosquitoes that carry Zika virus, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever are more common across the United States than previously believed, federal experts reported. Updated maps for 2016 show the Aedes aegypti mosquito in 38 counties where it wasn’t found before which is a 21 percent increase.

States especially affected include California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Florida and other Gulf states, the mid-Atlantic states, as well as big cities such as Chicago, where the mosquitoes keep getting brought back. Zika arrived in Brazil in 2013 or 2014 and has rapidly spread across the Americas, carried by infected travelers who transmit it to local mosquito populations. The main carrier is Aedes aegypti, a mostly tropical mosquito. A cousin, the Aedes albopictus, also known as the Asian tiger mosquito, can also carry Zika but it’s not been shown to be a major source of transmitting Zika to people.

The CDC also showed that Aedes albopictus is more common than previously believed, however. It’s been found in 127 new counties, a 10 percent increase over 2015, the team reported in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

Mosquitoes spread all sorts of viruses, including West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis. Different species spread different viruses. CDC’s worried about Zika because it causes profound birth defects in babies born to women infected while they are pregnant.

So far, 1,883 pregnant women in the 50 U.S. states have been reported infected with Zika, and 80 babies have been born with birth defects or have miscarried or been aborted because of severe, Zika-related birth defects in the U.S.

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