A New Sexually Transmitted Disease Has Landed In The UK

By : Neelam TailorTwitterLogo

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The infamous Zika virus, which caused babies of the women infected to be born with serious defects, has been transmitted sexually for the first time in the UK.

Public Health England (PHE) believe the woman contracted the virus through sexual contact with her partner after he returned from one of the affected regions.

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The mosquito-borne disease, which has been endemic in Latin America  over the past few years, was most dangerous to pregnant women as it caused the birth defect microcephaly.

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The woman affected in the UK was not pregnant and has since made a full recovery.

Many others were not so lucky, especially in the most affected areas of South America and the Caribbean where there were over 4,000 Zika-linked microcephaly cases in 2015 alone, leaving babies with abnormally small heads.

Earlier this year, the virus’ link to the birth defect was deemed a public health emergency by the World Health Organisation.

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Of the 265 British travellers identified as being infected, 190 of the cases are associated with travel to the Caribbean, particularly Barbados, Jamaica, St Lucia, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago, while 33 cases have been links to South America, according to the Independent.

Professor Dilys Morgan, Zika incident director at PHE, said:

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It is important to remember that the main risk relates to travellers to countries classified as high or moderate risk for Zika infection.

Zika infection is usually a mild, self-limiting illness, and PHE’s advice is based on the fact that our main concern is to avoid infection in pregnancy, in order to avoid risk to the unborn child.

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Doctors warn men who have travelled from an affected area to use condoms for at least six months after they return.

The mosquito which carries the virus, Aedes aegypti, is not found in the UK.


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The Independent

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