CDC Addresses Zika Virus: Abstain from Sex During Pregnancy

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AP Photo/Andres Kudacki

The CDC recommends that pregnant couples who may have been exposed to the Zika virus abstain from sex until their babies are born.

From the Washington Post:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued detailed recommendations Friday for preventing the sexual transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, including the suggestion that men who have traveled to Zika-affected areas consider abstaining from sex with their pregnant partner for the duration of the pregnancy.

The guidelines were in response to the report Tuesday by Dallas health officials that a local resident was infected with Zika by having sex with someone who’d contracted the disease while traveling in Venezuela — one of the many countries in South America, Central America and the Caribbean where the virus is spreading explosively.

Mosquitoes remain the primary way Zika is spread, and preventing bites is the best way to avoid infection. But the CDC said it was issuing the interim recommendations to stop sexual transmission, however rare, because of concerns over Zika’s potential link to birth defects. Abstaining from sex during a pregnancy is one option. The other is for men who live in or have traveled to Zika-affected regions to consistently and correctly use condoms during sex with a pregnant partner.

The recommendations are for vaginal, anal or oral sex. They do not address kissing.

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