Precautions will have to be taken for longer amounts of time when it comes to the Zika virus…
Zika has proven itself to be quite the harsh illness. Between having a couple of ways of spreading and causing severe birth defects (and perhaps even other pregnancy issues), it’s caused many women to stop traveling around and protecting themselves more so that they don’t hurt their potential new families. Unfortunately, there’s still not a medication to treat Zika and scientists have recently found out that Zika lasts longer in some cases than it was originally thought to.
As mentioned before, the virus has a couple different ways of spreading. The main way of spreading the disease is through a mosquito bite. If you would like to briefly read how to help prevent yourself from contracting the virus that way, you can read this HerDaily article here on the subject.
However, another way for Zika to spread is through sexual intercourse. Men and women both can spread it to one another making it dangerous for the couple to reproduce. As it would seem, if you get Zika out of your blood stream before you’re pregnant, you should be okay. However, Zika doesn’t just live in the blood stream; it can also live in men’s sperm.
In previously reported cases, Zika lived in sperm for about three month’s time before the virus seemed to vanish. However, in a new case, an Italian man was found to have the virus still living inside of him for a record time of six months. As a result, it is being suggested to abstain from sexual relations or at least have only safe sexual intercourse for at least six months if you’ve been found to have contracted the virus.
As noted in the previous article mentioned above, the Zika virus has been known to cause Microcephaly, a birth defect that causes children to be born with abnormally small skulls. Microcephaly can also cause brains of children to not fully develop. The life span of someone with Microcephaly is all over the place with some children dying during the first year of their life to some who are infected living lives to around their mid-thirties. For the person infected with the virus initially, however, symptoms are either non-existing or they come in the form of a mild cold.
Understandably, Zika is a worrisome virus for all involved. There are ways to help prevent the spread such as precautions towards mosquito bites and precautions over sexual intercourse and the CDC is working hard at finding ways to keep the Zika virus from spreading further hopefully making some sort of medication for infected people to take to help kill the virus.
For more information on Zika from the CDC you can visit their website here. They keep it regularly updated with new information as more is discovered about the virus.