A patient in Dallas has reportedly been infected with the Zika virus after having sex with an ill person who had recently returned from Venezuela, according to The New York Times.

Although primarily spread through mosquito bites, researchers have been looking into the virus’ spread through sex.

In 2013, Zika was discovered in the semen of a Tahitian man who’d recovered from the virus. 

However, because he had had more than one episode of fevers that year, researchers could not determine the length of time the virus had been persistent in his system. 

Additionally, there was a report of a Malaria specialist who was infected with Zika while collecting mosquitos in Africa and went on to transmit the virus to his wife in Colorado in 2008.

Since the man’s wife had not travelled outside of the country and because the couple’s four children were not infected, researchers concluded the virus had been transmitted sexually.

Zachary Thompson, the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department director said in a statement: “This increases our awareness campaign in educating the public about protecting themselves and others.” 

“Next to abstinence, condoms are the best prevention method against sexually transmitted infections.”

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