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31 Jul, 2016 18:52

Sex ban for UK travelers in Florida following Zika outbreak

Sex ban for UK travelers in Florida following Zika outbreak

UK travelers visiting Florida have been advised against having unprotected sex due to the risk of contracting the Zika virus.

The advice comes after four cases of the virus were confirmed to have been contracted from local mosquitoes in the popular holiday destination.

It’s not just while on vacation either, as Public Health England advises couples to use condoms for eight weeks after their return to assure that the virus is not spread.

Pregnant women are advised to consider postponing non-essential trips to the state of Florida because Zika is particularly dangerous for them, as it can cause severe birth defects or cause miscarriage.

A number of UK travel agents are offering expecting women the option of changing their destination free of charge.

Men who exhibit possible symptoms have also been advised to abstain from unprotected sex for six months.

“At present, only a zone of about one square mile in Miami-Dade County is considered at risk of active transmission,” the government said.

Florida, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, and the Philippines have all been deemed to pose a moderate Zika risk by the European Centre for Disease Control. Areas in South and Central America are considered high risk, and pregnant women are advised to postpone non-essential travel there.

One such place affected in South America is Brazil, where the Olympic Games are being held from August 5.

Over 150 health professionals signed an open letter in May calling on the International Olympic Committee to consider postponing or even moving the games from Rio de Janeiro to another country due to the spread of the virus.

READ MORE: Intl medical community urges WHO to ‘postpone or move’ Brazil Olympics over Zika threat

While Zika is usually transmitted through mosquito bites, the virus can be contracted through sexual contact as well.