Did Zika Virus Outbreak In Florida Infect Sperm Donations? Scientists Release Announcement

By Claire Parker, Parent Herald March 15, 06:36 am
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Adult female mosquitoes are seen under a microscope at the Sun Yat-Sen University-Michigan University Joint Center of Vector Control for Tropical Disease on June 21, 2016 in Guangzhou, China.It is believed some sperm donations in Florida are infected with the virus.
(Photo : Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Florida experienced a Zika virus outbreak last year and scientists claimed recently the sperm donations made during the outbreak could be infected. This meant even if Florida was cleared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last year, women could still be at risk now.

Florida Public Health Department announced there were no local transmissions of Zika virus since last December when the state was cleared. Initially, scientists did not consider the transmission of the virus via bodily fluids as a strong possibility to spread the disease but because of further research, scientists believed the sperm donations given since last year were contaminated with the virus.

Some people who contracted the virus could not have shown symptoms but scientists cautioned Zika virus could stay in the sperm for at least three months. The affected areas are Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach.Scientists from CDC said the donations made since June 15 could be infected, Romper shared.

The sperm donations are yet to be tested as researchers are still developing ways to screen the samples to determine if the donations have the virus. If the sperm donations will be used to get a woman pregnant, it poses the risk for the baby to be infected and suffer from microcephaly, which is the most common side effect of having Zika virus. There is no evidence yet suggesting that infected sperm donations could pass the Zika virus to a woman, Newsweek reported.

Aside from sperm donations, experts advised would-be parents should also consider the risk since their male partner could also have the virus in their system. Scientists also advised sperm banks to make background checks when accepting sperm donations. They should not accept donations from men with the virus or from men who came from areas where there is a Zika outbreak both in Florida and internationally.

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