Officals say Zika Virus can now spread through sexual contact

LANSING, MI (WLNS)- The Governor of Florida has declared a health emergency in four counties, this because of the Zika Virus.

At least nine cases of the mosquito-borne virus have been detected in Florida.

Officials believed all the cases contracted the virus while traveling.

This comes as officials have found that the Zika Virus can now be spread as a sexually transmitted disease.

Six News has the latest on how this new information impacts you.

A recent case in Texas shows that the Zika Virus can be transmitted through sexual contact.

“Condoms for protection are going to be a really wise thing” Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said.

According to Vail, if someone is bitten by a mosquito and receive the virus, the can have it for about a week or two. And for women who are looking to get pregnant, be aware of where your partner has traveled, especially if your partner has been in an area where the Zika Virus is prevalent.

“If the pieces all fit together, if you’ve traveled to the right countries, you have the right kind of symptoms, you should probably just wait to get pregnant in another month or two.” Vail said.

According to MSU Associate Dean for Prevention and Public Health, Dr. Dean Sienko, typically mosquito transmitted viruses are in the blood, but this new case now adds bodily fluids, semen, and even urine to the list of things to watch out for.

“What we’re studying is what role that semen might play through sexual intercourse and transmitting it from a male to a female.” Dr. Sienko said.

Health officials say the chances of getting Zika through sexual contact are rare, so mosquitos are what the public really need to focus on.

“Bottom line for the public in the continental us, remains the same if your pregnant and your thinking of traveling to a place with Zika spreading, dont!” CDC spokesperson said.

A Lansing travel agency tells Six News that many cruise lines and Caribbean locations will refund you free of charge, if you plan on getting pregnant and have concern about the Zika Virus.

To learn if this can spread to Michigan read http://wlns.com/2016/01/29/could-the-zika-virus-hit-michigan/.

For information on affected areas checkout http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html and http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika/en/.

 

 

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