The first new case of Zika, the mosquito-born virus that shrinks babies’ brains, was just reported in the U.S. It was transmitted, health officials say, through sex.
The transmission was reported in Dallas, a terrifying ground zero for infectious disease, where the casual outbreak observer may recall the first, second and third cases of stateside Ebola were also observed. The details, via the New York Times:
The Dallas County Health and Human Services Department reported that a patient with Zika virus was infected after having sex with an ill individual who had returned from Venezuela, where Zika is circulating.
No other identifying information was given.
“This significance is parallel with the HIV/Aids case,” Alaka Basu, a senior fellow for public health at the UN Foundation, tells the BBC. “It’s worse in some ways, because there are two modes of transmission.”
It’s serious enough for the World Health Organization to deem Zika an “international public health emergency,” at least for fertile women with skin and/or an active sex life. Men are apparently unaffected—typical.