Men and women returning from areas with Zika outbreaks should practice safe sex or abstinence for six months, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.
Earlier guidelines applied only to men and only for eight weeks after returning from areas dealing with Zika epidemics. The guideline now applies to everyone, even if they aren’t showing symptoms.
There have been several cases of Zika transmission from asymptomatic men to woman and asymptomatic women to men reported, WHO said. Zika is transmitted primarily through infected mosquitoes, but also through bodily fluids.
Nearly 70 countries have reported instances of Zika infections from mosquitoes and 11 countries have reported person-to-person Zika transmission, WHO said.
Infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects. People infected with Zika can experience fevers, joint pains and rashes.
About 2,700 cases of Zika have been reported in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Zika remains a global health emergency, WHO said.AlertMe