Men from three Florida counties shouldn't donate sperm because of a small risk of spreading Zika, U.S. health officials said Monday. The last recorded case of mosquitoes transmitting the virus in Florida was in December 2016, but warmer weather could see the insects begin infecting Floridians again. It has also been reported that there is another 32 probable cases of Zika Virus in the state.
This increased risk is especially relevant for men because there's evidence Zika can persist in semen longer than in other body fluids.
The organization has recommended that would-be parents "consider this potential risk" if using samples available in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties.
According to Lancaster Online, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still places a travel alert for areas the where mosquitoes that spread the disease could transmit it to people. Researchers highlighted the potential risk to women who have become pregnant since June 15 whose partners live in the tri-county area of South Florida, as well as women who have used donor semen from residents of the tri-county area to become pregnant since that date. The virus is associated with cellular membranes in the center.
There is no evidence of a pregnant woman being infected by Zika through a sperm donation, and such a risk is considered low, CDC officials said.
The CDC's warning comes after an FDA recommendation that says sperm banks should be sure not to accept any donations from those with Zika, or have recently travelled to regions where it is prevalent. Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause brain abnormalities, microcephaly and congenital Zika syndrome, a pattern of conditions in the baby that includes brain abnormalities, eye defects, hearing loss and limb defects.
Of particular concern is Zika's persistence in reproductive tissue, particularly semen.
Last year, 221 people in the continental US got Zika from mosquitoes, and most of those cases were in the Miami area. She said officials suspect the local infections occurred in Miami-Dade.
Zika virus made headlines previous year all over the world, but in the United States, it became widely associated with several counties in Florida where it ran rampant.
Ongoing probe also found that residents of the three counties frequently travel between the areas and possibly may not realize they could be infected.
Use an insect repellent containing DEET that is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, as directed. You can buy pre-treated clothing and gear or treat them yourself.