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Men urged to use a condom as sexual transmission of Zika detected

Published:Friday | February 5, 2016 | 2:28 PM
Marcia Maria, who is seven months pregnant, waits to be examined at the IMIP hospital in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil on Wednesday.

United States health officials said men who have visited an area with Zika should use condoms if they have sex with a pregnant woman – for the entire duration of the pregnancy.

The guidance issued today also says men might consider abstaining or using condoms even if they have sex with a woman who isn't pregnant.

Zika virus disease is mainly spread by mosquitoes. In most people it causes mild or no symptoms. But officials recently detected a case of sexual transmission of the disease in Texas.

Officials previously recommended pregnant women postpone trips to more than two dozen countries with Zika outbreaks, mostly in Latin America and the Caribbean. Several Latin American nations have urged women to postpone pregnancies.

To date, the mosquito-borne virus has spread to more than 20 countries in the Americas, including some where sexual violence is rampant.