The threat of sexually-transmitted Zika in south Florida may not be fully abated, as health officials warn women seeking reproductive care to consult clinicians about the risks of using donated semen.
Sperm donations that hail from three different Florida counties may possibly contain the Zika virus, said the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC). Also, some of the people in the region who were sick with Zika apparently didn't travel to Miami-Dade County. Testing for tissue donors, including semen donors, is not now available; however, tissue donors are asked travel history questions, and if they have traveled to or live in an area of active Zika virus transmission they would be determined ineligible under current FDA guidance. Both federal and state health officials have cautioned that Zika Virus, which is linked to serious birth defects, is still in existence. If Zika infects a fetus, scientists believe it causes microcephaly-where the baby is born with a small head, signifying abnormal brain development.
The organization's warning follows a recommendation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates sperm donations, that sperm banks shouldn't accept donations from men with the virus, or who had been in areas where the virus is prevalent. The CDC explains that freezing sperm does not nicely inactive the virus. While blood donations can be tested for Zika, there's not a good test for semen, according to the FDA.
Most cases of Zika infection in the United States are travel related and as people continue to travel to tropical areas where the Aedes mosquito is more common, the United States will continue to have cases of Zika virus throughout the country. But officials think it's possible the bugs will start spreading it again this summer.
Of the 279 locally acquired Zika cases recorded in Florida for 2016, at least 259 were in Miami-Dade - more than any other county.
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In 2017, state health officials have reported one locally acquired case of Zika, in Miami-Dade. CDC says fertility clinics from Miami to West Palm Beach could be affected.
Ongoing probe also found that residents of the three counties frequently travel between the areas and possibly may not realize they could be infected.
Since a large outbreak in Brazil, would-be moms and their sex partners have been told to avoid travel to Zika areas, use condoms or abstain from sex. You can buy pre-treated clothing and gear or treat them yourself.
Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long trousers.