Zika alarm rises after U.S. sex link, more Brazil birth defects | NewsDaily: The virus, spreading quickly across the Americas, is usually transmitted by mosquitoes. But health officials in Dallas County reported on Tuesday that the first known case contracted in the United States was a person infected after having sex with somebody who had returned from Venezuela.
The WHO declared a global health emergency on Monday, citing a “strongly suspected” causal relationship between Zika infection in pregnancy and microcephaly, a condition marked by abnormally small head size that can cause permanent brain damage in newborns.
Health ministers from across South America gathered in Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, to discuss the public health emergency and how the region can coordinate its fight against the outbreak.
There is no treatment or vaccine for Zika.
Sexual transmission could add a new dimension to the threat Zika poses, but WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl stressed that “almost a 100 percent of the cases” are transmitted by the bite of a mosquito.
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