73ºF

Local infectious disease specialist says Zika can potentially spread through bodily fluids

photo

ROANOKE (WSLS10) - While mosquitoes aren't currently active in Virginia, it doesn't mean you're safe from the Zika virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirm the virus was sexually transmitted here in the United States.

That patient is down in Texas, but several Virginia residents have tested positive for Zika as well.

Infectious disease specialists at Lewis Gale Hospital say Zika, like any virus, has the potential to be transferred by bodily fluids.

"We don't have that great amount of data to say the Zika virus can be transmitted by sexual contact," said Doctor Elias Woldegabriel. "This is just the first case described. So, it's really difficult to say what the chance of the virus is to be passed on by sexual contact."

Health leaders add if someone comes in contact with the virus, it's best to avoid sexual contact with them for at least a week after they've overcome the disease.

Meanwhile, in Florida there have been so many cases that Wednesday the governor declared a health emergency.