ECDC offers new guidelines for Zika transmission
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) released a new Zika risk assessment today, concluding that, while transmission has slowed in the Americas, the virus is widespread in Asia.
The assessment was conducted, in part, to update travel guidelines for Europeans visiting a country with endemic Zika or experiencing an outbreak.
The ECDC said all travelers should take precautions, and upon return to Europe, "should abstain from sex or correctly and consistently use condoms and other barrier methods for vaginal, anal or oral sex for a duration of three months if the returning traveller is a man, for a duration of two months if the returning traveller is a woman, and for the whole duration of pregnancy if the partner in the EU/EEA [European Union/European Economic Area] is pregnant."
Since 2015, officials have reported 2,398 travel-associated cases of Zika in the EU, 48% of which were in France. Two of these cases resulted in an infant being born with microcephaly, the most severe complication associated with Zika infection. The vast majority of travel-associated cases were recorded in 2016 (2,059), compared with 3 so far in 2019.
Apr 11 ECDC risk assessment
CDC: 1 in 8 gay, bi men have extragenital chlamydia or gonorrhea
One in eight men who have sex with men (MSM) are infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea at extragenital (rectal and pharyngeal) sites, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a study today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWR). The infections are often asymptomatic and increase the risk of both gonococcal antimicrobial resistance and HIV transmission, the CDC said.
To conduct the study, researchers analyzed self-collected swabs for chlamydia and gonorrhea as part of National HIV Behavioral Surveillance screenings in five US cities.
"Overall, 2,075 MSM provided specimens with valid results, and 13.3% of participants were infected with at least one of the two pathogens in at least one of these two extragenital anatomic sites. Approximately one third of participating MSM had not been screened for STDs [sexually transmitted diseases] in the previous 12 months," the CDC said.
Current CDC guidelines suggest MSM be screened annually for STDs, but the authors said the results of this study support testing high-risk patients every 3 to 6 months.
Apr 11 MMWR study