Zika Virus News And Updates: World Health Organization Issues Safe Sex Guidelines For Travelers

By Katherine Pine, Parent Herald September 07, 10:55 am
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New guidelines have been issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) for men and women who have travelled to areas that are affected with Zika virus, to practice safe sex for at least six months. This is because Zika virus could be transmitted via bodily fluids including semen.

WHO said that more studies are confirming that sexual intercourse could be a mode of transmission of the Zika virus. The NBC News reported that another study had also shown that Zika virus could be found in the tears of mice. WHO wants to protect pregnant women as much as possible since Zika-linked microcephaly is one of the effects of the virus. This is the case of babies being born with abnormally small brains, leading to numerous delays in physical and mental abilities.

WHO also said in their guidelines that other studies had revealed even people who have not had symptoms of the virus could infect others. Initially, WHO proposed that men and women traveling from Zika-affected areas should practice safe sex for eight weeks or two months, Aljazeera confirmed. People who would have symptoms of having Zika virus would only experience mild changes such as a fever, rashes, or muscle and joint aches.

WHO also advised pregnant women to avoid travelling to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission. The main transmission of Zika virus is through the Aedes mosquito bites. Zika could stay in a man's semen for months and in the blood stream of a person. It could also be found in urine.

Zika has spread in Latin America, the Carribean, in Asia, and some states in the U.S. In Florida, there have been seven more people diagnosed with home-grown Zika cases. Florida now has 56 locally-acquired Zika cases.

In the other guidelines sent out by WHO, they advised women to delay their pregnancy plans in order to avoid affecting the baby if they catch the Zika virus.

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