A new study out of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims to have documented the first human case of a sexually transmitted insect-borne disease: the Zika virus.
Brian Foy, a biologist at Colorado State University, coauthored the study about three anonymous patients who he later admitted included himself; Kevin Kobylinski,a PH.D. student who accompanied him on a mosquito collecting trip; and Foy's wife, Chilson Foy, who coauthored the study.
Foy and Kobylinski developed the Zika virus 5 days after
returning home in August 2008 from harvesting mosquitos for various studies in Senegal. They developed rashes on their torsos, fatigue, headaches, and painfully swollen wrists, knees, and ankles. Foy also suffered from an inflamed prostate, painful urination, and blood in his semen. In early September, Chilson developed a headahce, hypersensitivity to light, chills, and muscle pains.
At the CDC's lab in Fort Collins, Colorado, Foy and Kobylinski were misdiagnosed with dengue fever while Chilson tested negative. A medical entomologist at the University of Texas Medical Brach at Galveston discovered the true source of the trio's illness: Zika.
The Zika virus, often incorrectly diagnosed as dengue fever, is commonly found in sections of Africa and Southeast Asia. The chances of Foy transmitting this mosquito borne disease to his wife through vaginal intercourse is very strong. This would make this the first documented case of an insect borne sexually transmitted virus. Other research suggests that this type if infection is possible in other mammals. Boars infected with Japanese encephalitis can spread this virus through their semen.
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