Published: Wed, March 15, 2017
Health Care | By Jeffery Armstrong

New Concerns Arise about Zika Virus

New Concerns Arise about Zika Virus

The CDC will shift the time-frame, and its area of potential increased risk, for blood and tissue sample guidance for Zika transmission for residents of South Florida, according to the agency. The virus is transmitted by infected Aedes mosquitoes.

At a news briefing, Dr Peter W Marks, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Centre for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said, "When semen is donated, it can be stored frozen for significant periods of time, and that doesn't necessarily inactivate the Zika virus".

However, there is now no evidence to suggest that an infected sperm donation can pass the Zika virus onto a woman, AP reported. It was previously thought by the organization that sperm collected only from the Miami-Dade County had a possibility of containing the virus. Researchers highlighted the potential risk to women who have become pregnant since June 15 whose partners live in the tri-county area of South Florida, as well as women who have used donor semen from residents of the tri-county area to become pregnant since that date. Additionally, healthcare providers should counsel their pregnant patients who might have been exposed to semen from men potentially infected with Zika virus about this risk. "Testing for tissue donors, including semen donors, is not now available", said the CDC in a media statement.

The recommendation by the CDC for women in those three Florida counties is to exercise extra caution when selecting a sperm donation site; this could mean waiting until the CDC has given the all-clear, or, going to another part of the state for sperm donation in the meantime. Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause brain abnormalities, microcephaly and congenital Zika syndrome, a pattern of conditions in the baby that includes brain abnormalities, eye defects, hearing loss and limb defects.

The U.S.is now readying itself for the likelihood of more Zika cases in the coming months.

Officials advise that pregnant women should consider postponing non-essential trips to the aforementioned areas and other travelers should also take extra precautions against mosquito bites both during the trip and three weeks after returning, to avoid spreading the virus. The majority came from Miami, although Texas also reported six cases. There are also 21 travel-related infections statewide, including four in Miami-Dade, and two categorized as "undetermined" after state health officials were unable to identify where those cases originated. You can buy pre-treated clothing and gear or treat them yourself.

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