NEW YORK, NY -- A New York City woman has infected her male partner with Zika virus through sex, the first time female-to-male transmission of the germ has been documented.
Zika is usually spread by mosquitoes, and health officials have known for some time that men can spread it through sex. The new finding prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to update its advice in a report issued Friday. The CDC now advises pregnant women to use protection if their sex partner has traveled to a Zika-infected region, whether the partner is a man or a woman.
The Zika virus causes only a mild illness, at worst, in most people. But infection during pregnancy can lead to severe brain-related birth defects.
The New York woman was not pregnant.