WRAPUP 3-First U.S. Zika virus transmission reported, sexual transmission cited

martes 2 de febrero de 2016 17:52 GYT

(Adds Chilean and Irish cases, background)

* U.N. agency launches Zika global response unit

* Sanofi cites Zika's rapid spread in vaccine effort

* Zika linked to severe birth defect microcephaly

* Rousseff says Brazil, U.S. plan vaccine partnership

By Jon Herskovitz

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb 2 (Reuters) - The first known case of Zika virus transmission in the United States was reported in Texas on Tuesday by local health officials, who said it likely was contracted through sex and not a mosquito bite, a day after the World Health Organization declared an international public health emergency.

The virus, linked to severe birth defects in thousands of babies in Brazil, is spreading rapidly in the Americas, and WHO officials on Tuesday expressed concern that it could hit Africa and Asia as well. Zika had been thought to be spread by the bite of mosquitoes of the Aedes genus, so sexual contact as a mode of transmission would be a potentially alarming development.

Dallas County Health and Human Services said it received confirmation of the case in Dallas from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   Continuación...