Polk County man contracts Zika virus through sex

Posted at 6:20 PM, Mar 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-10 01:14:48-05
Florida health officials are on notice after the state's first confirmed sexual transmission of the Zika virus.
The case involves a Polk County man who was out of the country. 
Gov. Rick Scott asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to brief healthcare workers on the virus.
Meanwhile health officials at USF are among those warning spring breakers about traveling to popular spots like Mexico and Puerto Rico.
The CDC said there’s no need to cancel any trips, but they have issued a Level 2 Travel Alert, advising travelers to practice enhanced precautions.
Infectious disease expert Dr. Beata Casanas with USF Health and Tampa General Hospital said some women should be especially careful.
“The advisory as of now if you are pregnant or you are planning to become pregnant: Please do not travel to the countries that are effected with Zika right now,” Casanas said.
About 30 countries are affected far. So you should check the CDC’s website before traveling.
The Zika virus can spread from a mother to a fetus, leading to birth defects.
But only 20 percent of people infected will experience any symptoms at all.
There are new concerns though, with doctors learning Zika can spread through sexual contact.
“We know that Zika can be still prevalent in male semen up to three months, maybe even longer,” Casanas said.
Casanas said if you are traveling be extra careful. 
“Take plenty of mosquito repellant, wear long sleeves and stay away from areas of heavy mosquito population if possible,” she said.
For most, illness caused by the Zika virus is mild and symptoms last about a week. They include a fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes.