Zika Virus Transmission Person to Person
Zika virus is primarily spread through infected mosquito bites but it can also be passed from person to person. Zika virus transmission person to person can occur during pregnancy and through exchange of body fluids including semen, saliva, and blood. The virus cannot be spread through social contact.
An infected mother can spread the virus to her child during pregnancy. The virus can be found in the amniotic fluid and it can lead to several brain defects in the baby. The transmission can also occur during delivery. Researchers have not found any links between breastfeeding and zika virus transmission. For this reason, mothers who live in affected areas can continue to breastfeed their children. Pregnant women should consult medical professionals if they are exposed to the virus. Those who live in an affected area also need medical care to prevent transmission.
Infected males can spread the virus to their male or female sexual partners. Transmission can occur through unprotected oral, anal or vaginal sex. Men can transmit the virus before and after they develop symptoms. They can also spread it after their symptoms resolve. A man can transmit the virus some days before they show any symptoms. This is because the virus tends to live for longer periods in the semen compared to the blood.
Consistent condom use during any sexual contact can reduce transmission risks. The condoms have to be used appropriately each time a man engages in oral, anal or vaginal sex to lower chances of spreading the virus. According to research evidence, the virus can be found in a man’s semen up to 60 days after symptoms begin. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that infected males consider abstaining from all forms of sex for a minimum of six months after diagnosis to eliminate transmission risk.
Zika virus can also be transmitted from person to person through contact with infected blood. The virus can be spread through transfusions if adequate tests are not carried out on the blood. It can remain in an infected person’s blood for up to a week. Most people do not get symptoms, making it easy for them to transmit the virus unknowingly.
Zika virus cannot be treated and the best option is to prevent transmission. Zika virus transmission person to person can be prevented by eliminating exposure to an infected individual’s body fluids. It is important to seek prompt medical attention to manage the virus especially if you are pregnant.