How Long Does the Zika Virus Stay in the Semen?
The Zika virus is a virus transmitted mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito—found in certain Carribean countries, Central & South America, Asia, Africa, and Mexico. For adults, Zika is relatively harmless. Many people infected with Zika virus won’t have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms. The most common symptoms of Zika are
- Joint pain
- Red eyes
- Muscle pain
But Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby and infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects of the brain called microcephaly and other severe brain defects. It is also linked to miscarriages and stillbirths.
Zika Can Be Passed Through Sex
Zika can be passed through sex from a person with Zika to his or her partners.
- Sex includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex and the sharing of sex toys.
- Zika can be passed through sex even in a committed relationship.
- The timeframes that men and women can pass Zika through sex are different because Zika virus can stay in semen longer than in other body fluids.
Guidelines from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recommend that infected men use condoms or abstain from sex for six months after infection with the Zika virus. Though Zika may stay in the semen less than six months, many experts say six months is a safe amount of time to protect your partner from Zika. This is true for even men and women who are not planning to become pregnant. Zika lasts longer in the semen than in any other bodily fluid.
Thousands of babies across the world have been impacted by the Zika outbreak, which began several years ago in Brazil.
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