San Diego Woman Contracts Zika Through Sexual Transmission

Sexual transmission of the Zika virus is more common than previously thought, according to the World Health Organization

A woman in San Diego contracted the Zika virus in what health officials say is California’s first case of the virus spread through sexual transmission.

The unidentified woman was infected with Zika in February after having sex with a man who had just returned from traveling to Colombia, according to the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency.

She was not pregnant and has since recovered from the virus, officials said. Her partner has also recovered.

“This is the first confirmed case in California where Zika virus was transmitted sexually,” said California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith.

Sexual transmission of the Zika virus is more common than previously thought, according to the World Health Organization.

The Zika virus is transmitted mostly through mosquito bites, but a man who has Zika can transmit the virus to his sex partners.

“Next to abstinence, condoms are the best prevention method against any sexually transmitted infections,” said San Diego County's health officer Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H.

Symptoms may not be apparent in someone who is carrying the Zika virus. If symptoms do develop, they may include fever, rash, joint pain and eye redness.

California has reported 22 travel-associated cases of Zika virus within the last year.

Mosquitoes can carry the Ziki virus similar just as they spread dengue and chikungunya. The insects get infected when they feed on a person who already has the virus. Then, those infected mosquitoes can spread the virus to other people through bites.

No one has contracted the virus through a mosquito bite that occurred in California.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is studying the effects of the Zika virus. Researchers are also developing ways to identify the virus sooner.

Microcephaly is a condition in which a baby's head and brain are smaller than other babies of the same age. The condition has been linked to the Zika virus in Brazil where there has been an outbreak of babies born with microcephaly. U.S. health officials are investigating the possible connection.

Other problems have been detected among fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth, such as defects of the eye, hearing deficits, and impaired growth, according to the CDC.

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