Pa. steps up monitoring efforts of Zika virus

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – State health officials say they’re increasing their efforts to monitor and identify potential Zika virus cases in Pennsylvania.

Health Secretary Dr. Karen Murphy said her department is following new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, issued Friday after laboratory tests confirmed the first case of a sexually transmitted Zika virus infection.

The CDC advises men with a pregnant partner to use condoms if they have traveled to an area with “active Zika virus transmission.”

Here are the full guidelines from the CDC:

For pregnant women, and for men with pregnant sex partners who live in or have traveled to Zika-affected areas, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Pregnant women and their male sex partners should discuss the male partner’s potential exposures and history of Zika-like illness with the pregnant woman’s health care provider. Providers should consult CDC’s guidelines for evaluation and testing of pregnant women.\
  • Men with a pregnant sex partner who reside in or have traveled to an area of active Zika virus transmission should consistently and correctly use condoms during sexual activity or abstain from sexual activity for the duration of the pregnancy. Consistent and correct use of latex condoms reduces the risk of sexual transmission of many infections, including those caused by other viruses.

For non-pregnant women, and men with non-pregnant sexual partners who live in or have traveled to Zika-affected areas, the CDC recommends:

  • Couples in which a man resides in or has traveled to an area of active Zika virus transmission who are concerned about sexual transmission of Zika virus may consider using condoms consistently and correctly during sex or abstaining from sexual activity.

Although sexual transmission of the virus is possible, mosquito bites are still the primary way Zika is transmitted. There currently is no vaccine or treatment.

No cases of Zika virus have been reported in Pennsylvania. Testing of people who traveled to affected areas and have experienced symptoms is ongoing.


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