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Posted: February 02, 2016

CDC confirms first sexually transmitted case of Zika in the U.S.

Why You Dont Need to Panic About the Zika Virus Just Yet

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            CDC confirms first sexually transmitted case of Zika in the U.S.
A female Aedes aegypti mosquito acquires a blood meal on the arm of a researcher at the Biomedical Sciences Institute in the Sao Paulo’s University, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016. The Aedes aegypti is a vector for transmitting the Zika virus. (AP)

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Updated Wednesday, 10:04 a.m. - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed to CNN that a case of Zika virus in an individual who had not traveled abroad was acquired through sexual activity. The case was originally announced by Dallas County Health and Human Services in Dallas, Texas, but had not been confirmed by CDC.

In a statement to CNN, the CDC said it would soon provide new guidelines for preventing Zika virus that focus on male sexual partners of women who could become pregnant. There is no threat to a fetus in the Texas case, the CDC said. 

Previous story - A county health department in Texas has confirmed the first sexually transmitted case of Zika virus, also making it the first locally acquired case of Zika in the U.S. 

Dallas County Health and Human Services said it received confirmation that a Texas resident contracted the virus after having sexual contact with a person who returned from a country where Zika was present. There are currently six confirmed Zika cases in Texas

>>Related: How to prevent the Zika virus

"Now that we know Zika virus can be transmitted through sex, this increases our awareness campaign in educating the public about protecting themselves and others," said Zachary Thompson, DCHHS director.

The virus, which one World Health Organization official said was spreading at an "explosive" rate, has been confirmed in several states since the outbreak of the illness. All previous cases in the U.S. were travelers returning to the U.S. from countries where the virus was present.

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People have been known to contract Zika after being bitten by an infected Aedes mosquito.

Details about the infected woman have not been released, but she is not pregnant, according to The Dallas Morning News. Most fears about Zika focused on the effects that women can pass on to their children if infected while pregnant. 

>>Related: CDC warns pregnant women not to travel to these countries

Symptoms of the virus include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes, and according to Gonzalo Vazquez-Prokopec, an assistant professor in the department of environmental sciences at Emory College in Atlanta, most people infected with the virus clear it from their blood in less than a week. 

The CDC has not confirmed that the virus was transmitted sexually, but according to the organization's website, spread of the virus through blood transfusion and sexual contact have been reported before.

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