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Why Men Still Need to Be Extra Cautious About the Zika Virus

March 10th, 2016

Why Men Still Need to Be Extra Cautious About the Zika Virus

While officials are still primarily warning pregnant women against traveling to area where the Zika virus is active, as they experience the greatest health risk from it, we may not be looking carefully enough at the danger infected men pose to non-infected women. Officials have warned men to wear condoms, as they can sexually transmit the virus to their partners, but officials are uncertain of how long the virus stays active in their body. This lack of knowledge could be a can of worms just ready to explode.

A woman doesn’t need to worry about her baby being infected with the Zika virus unless she is infected while pregnant or becomes pregnant soon after being infected. The virus can only be transmitted through her blood, and the virus is known to clear from the bloodstream within 7 to 10 days.

On the other hand, the Zika virus has been found to be active in semen over a month after the man was initially infected. Experts don’t know how long a man infected with the Zika virus could sexually transmit it to his partner. And since there is no commercial test available, a man has no way of knowing how long he needs to worry about infecting his partner and possibly his child. Men are cautioned to abstain from sex or use condoms, but no one has specified for how long. I’d say this is a problem that could end up biting us in the butt later on.

Do you think men need to be more careful about contracting the Zika virus than women? Could this pose a hidden danger in the future?

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