On Friday in a letter to The New England Journal of Medicine, a congregation of scientists wrote the possibility the Zika virus can be transmitted by oral sex or even kissing is very high. A new case in France may prove that theory.
In the French case, a 46-year-old man returned to his home in Paris from Rio de Janeiro on Feb. 10, shortly after experiencing common Zika symptoms in Brazil, such as fever,headache and a rash. The symptoms had ended when he reached France, and he proceeded to have sex seven times between Feb. 11 and Feb. 20 with 24-year-old partner. Each time though, the sexual encounters involved vaginal sex without ejaculation and oral sex with ejaculation.
The woman then fell ill on Feb. 20. Both were tested for Zika three days later. The man had high levels of the virus in his semen and urine, but none in his blood or saliva. The woman had Zika in her urine and saliva, and antibodies to the virus in her blood. But a vaginal swab came back negative for the infection. The two were using oral sex for birth control reasons.
Dr. John T. Brooks, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studying sexual transmission of the Zika virus, claimed he was “not particularly surprised” to see transmission was probably by oral sex. However, Brooks affirms kissing is an unlikely form of transmission. “Casual kissing has got to be safe because, if it weren’t, don’t you think we’d see a lot more Zika? Every mom who kissed her baby would pass it on,” he said.
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