Chile reports first case of sexually transmitted Zika

March 26, 2016

Authorities Saturday reported the first sexually transmitted case of Zika in mainland Chile, where there is no known presence of the mosquito generally blamed for passing on the virus suspected of causing birth defects.

The Health Ministry said a 46-year-old woman contracted the virus from a man who had become infected in Haiti.

"This is the first documented case of Zika virus through sexual transmission in mainland Chile, where there is no presence of the Aedes aegypti mosquito that transmits the disease," the ministry said in a statement.

"To date, we have confirmed 10 cases of Zika contracted abroad and reported in the country, including eight in 2016."

In early March, Chile reported the first imported case of Zika in a pregnant woman whose son was born healthy.

While not present in mainland Chile, the Aedes aegypti mosquito has been detected on remote Easter Island in the Pacific.

Zika, which has been spreading through Latin America, has been linked to microcephaly in babies born to mothers infected while pregnant.

Microcephaly is a serious birth defect that leaves babies with small heads and incomplete brain development.

The World Health Organization has declared an international health emergency over the apparent link.

Explore further: Suspected Zika-linked birth defect on French island

Related Stories

Colombia reports almost 43,000 Zika cases

February 28, 2016

Colombia has registered 42,706 cases of people infected with Zika, including 7,653 in pregnant women, the country's National Health Institute reported on Saturday.

19 Zika virus cases in Puerto Rico: official

January 26, 2016

The mosquito-borne Zika virus has now been found in 19 people in Puerto Rico, although none were pregnant women, the group most at risk, the island's health secretary said.

Recommended for you

Zika virus infection alters human and viral RNA

October 20, 2016

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that Zika virus infection leads to modifications of both viral and human genetic material. These modifications—chemical tags known as ...

Food-poisoning bacteria may be behind Crohn's disease

October 19, 2016

People who retain a particular bacterium in their gut after a bout of food poisoning may be at an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease later in life, according to a new study led by researchers at McMaster University.

Neurodevelopmental model of Zika may provide rapid answers

October 19, 2016

A newly published study from researchers working in collaboration with the Regenerative Bioscience Center at the University of Georgia demonstrates fetal death and brain damage in early chick embryos similar to microcephaly—a ...

Scientists uncover new facets of Zika-related birth defects

October 17, 2016

In a study that could one day help eliminate the tragic birth defects caused by Zika virus, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have elucidated how the virus attacks the brains of newborns, ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.