Then, within a week of her return, her male partner also in his 20s came down with many of the same symptoms including conjunctivitis. He went to the same doctor and told the doctor he hadn’t traveled, been bitten by a mosquito or had other recent sexual partners. His urine test was positive for Zika, though not the blood test. The CDC confirmed the results.
Until this point the CDC’s Zika prevention advice has been aimed at sexually active men who travel to Zika outbreak regions and pregnant women or women who want to soon get pregnant. Now, in light of the New York City case, that prevention message becomes more broad. No one who travels to an area of outbreak, which includes just about all of South and Central America and the Caribbean, should have unprotected sex of any kind upon returning home or should abstain for six weeks if they have no symptoms. If they have symptoms, they should practice safe-sex for at least two months.
Zika causes a host of birth defects, especially microcephaly, a condition that stunts the growth of a fetus’s brain and the skull to collapse on it. The virus also causes miscarriages and still births.