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Sexual transmission of Zika virus: advice to travellers

Monday, April 11, 2016

National News

Research suggesting Zika virus can also be transmitted through sexual contact means extra care needs to be taken by reproductive-aged women and their partners when having sex, says National Medical Advisor, Dr Christine Roke.

“Because Zika virus can have potentially serious implications for unborn babies, safer sex practices are really important for women who have travelled to an affected area, or had sex with someone who has,” Dr Roke says.

Dr Roke says there are steps both men and women can take to prevent infection.

If you have a partner who could be pregnant, you should avoid all sexual contact, including oral, vaginal and anal sex, for at least six months after you’ve left the affected area, or use condoms each time. This would apply whether you have symptoms or not.

For pregnant women, or women who plan to become pregnant in the near future, consider delaying any travel to areas affected by Zika virus.

“If you are pregnant and think you may have been at risk of Zika virus, we would recommend you see a health provider to test for infection,” says Dr Roke.

More information

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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