Zika Virus has now spread throughout the Americas, with the largest number of infected people being found in Brazil. Which is the home of the Rio Olympics in August this year.
While undertaking research for “The Zika Virus Guidebook”, Dr John Hagidimitriou discovered that over the years there have been several case reports of possible sexual transmission of Zika Virus.
The first case was several years ago in a returning scientist with Zika Virus who had returned to the United States of America and sexual transmission occurred from the scientist to his wife.
The second case was in 2013 during the time of the outbreak in French Polynesia. When a man had presented with signs of blood in his sperm and it was concluded that the findings of the study supported the possibility that Zika virus can be transmitted from one person to another via sexual intercourse because they found live virus particles in his semen.
The possibility of Zika Virus being a sexually transmitted disease was being considered in the medical literature after these couple of case reports.
However, during this current outbreak in February 2016 the first case of sexually transmitted Zika virus infection was reported by officials from Dallas County.
Dr Hagidimitriou the author of the upcoming book, “The Zika Virus Guidebook” states,
“The past 2 case reports together with the case of sexual transmission in Dallas County support that: Zika virus has the potential to become a Sexually Transmitted Disease”
He urges caution for those traveling to countries where Zika Virus has been found to practice safe sex and ensure they also protect themselves against acquiring Zika Virus and then bringing it back home to their home country and potentially spreading it via unprotected sex to their partners.
His comments are echoed by the CDC which in February 2016, issued the following advisory….
“Men who reside in or have traveled to an area of active Zika virus transmission who are concerned about sexual transmission of Zika virus might consider abstaining from sexual activity or using condoms consistently and correctly during sex.”
for those men with pregnant partners they said….
“Men who reside in or have traveled to an area of active Zika virus transmission who have a pregnant partner should abstain from sexual activity or consistently and correctly use condoms during sex for the duration of the pregnancy.”
Dr Hagidimitriou, the author of “The Zika Virus Guidebook” warns:
“This knowledge of the possibility of sexual transmission of Zika virus is important for the public to know, until more is certain about the risks to developing babies, and the potential risk of sexual transmission to a pregnant woman.”
Given what is known about past Olympic Games and that many condoms have been used, the importance of their use will be greater than ever for those athletes and visitors that will be at the Rio Olympics this year, to minimize their risk of getting Zika Virus through sexual transmission.
The athletes and visitors will also need to make sure that they are using appropriate protection against mosquitoes which is the most common way that Zika Virus is transmitted.
Visit TheZikaVirusGuidebook.com for more information on Zika Virus and Transmission.