Peru reports first sexually transmitted Zika case

A specialist fumigates for Zika-carrying mosquitoes on the outskirts of Lima, Peru on January 15, 2016

Lima (AFP) – Peru has suffered its first case of sexually transmitted, locally contracted Zika virus, authorities said Saturday.

Health Minister Anibal Velasquez said that after a woman tested positive for Zika officials went to see if she could have been bitten by a transmitter mosquito at her home. 

When they found no mosquito presence, they tested her partner’s sperm. He tested positive for the virus, Velasquez told reporters.

The woman and her partner were treated in hospital and are now healthy, he added.

The virus has been linked to cases of microcephaly in babies born to mothers who have Zika, as well as to Guillain-Barre, a disorder that causes the immune system to attack parts of the nervous system that controls muscle strength.

Brazil, where the Zika virus was first detected in Latin America in early 2015, has had a surge in cases of microcephaly coinciding with the Zika outbreak.

On Thursday, neighboring Colombia reported the country’s first two cases of microcephaly associated with Zika.

Some 70,000 clinical cases of Zika have been reported to date in Colombia, and as many as 200,000 cases are expected before the epidemic peaks.


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