Florida Zika virus outbreak might have infected sperm donations

Fourth Estate Staff

Miami-Dade, FL, United States (4E) – Florida was one of the hotbeds of Zika virus last year and now scientists claim it is possible the sperm donations in the state are infected.

Florida was cleared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last year but due to the probability that sperm donations are infected, women could still be at risk.

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 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 are contaminated with the virus.

Some people who contracted the virus could have not 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 and scientists from CDC said the donations made since June 15 could be infected. 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. Microcephaly is the most common side effect of having Zika virus. There is no evidence yet suggesting that an infected sperm donations could pass the Zika virus to a woman.

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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