Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


First Case Of Zika Transmitted Through Sex Reported In California

Zika is spread via Aedes mosquitos (Photo by Chik_77 via Shutterstock)
LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

The first case of a Californian to contract the Zika virus through sex has been reported.According to the L.A. Times, a San Diego woman who hadn't traveled out of the country became ill last month. But her partner had recently been to Colombia, which is one of the 33 countries in the Americas that have been reporting many cases of the disease, which is primarily transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. But it can also be sexually transmitted, which is what happened in San Diego. Both the woman and man have recovered.

"This is the first confirmed case in California where Zika virus was transmitted sexually," CDPH director Dr. Karen Smith told Sacramento's KCRA. "If your partner has traveled to an area where Zika is present, protecting yourself by abstaining from sex or using condoms during sex is the best way to prevent sexual transmission of Zika virus."

The first case of Zika virus in L.A. county was reported in November 2015, which prompted the issuing of a travel warning from the Department of Health in January. In February, a second case of Zika was confirmed.

In early February, a Dallas resident was infected with the virus through sex. That case was was the first in the United States during the current outbreak, where the patient had not left the country.

Support for LAist comes from

According to the CDPH, 22 cases of Zika, including this one, have been reported in California since 2015. As NBC San Diego notes, no one in California has yet to contracted the virus through a mosquito bite that occurred in the state.

The virus' symptoms are typically minor, but it has been linked to a massive increase of microcephaly cases in Brazil—a birth defect that causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads, which leads to brain damage.