Why we should worry about men and Zika

While the public's anxiety over Zika seems to be primarily geared toward pregnant women due to its association with a birth defect, it's actually men who should be taking extra precautions, according to some experts quoted by CNN.

A woman can only transmit Zika for a finite period of time, because the virus is spread in the bloodstream and Zika can't live in the blood for long. Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN, "We've measured the virus in the blood of people who've been infected, and it usually clears the bloodstream in five to seven days, or 10 days at the most."

However, the Zika virus can be transmitted sexually, and it is unclear how long the virus lasts in semen. That is why the timeline for suggested abstinence and condom use issued by the CDC for men returning from Zika-infected countries is unspecified.

The CDC hopes to initiate a study soon to determine how long Zika lasts in sperm, according to CNN.

More articles on Zika: 
CDC-trained teams to investigate Zika-microcephaly link on the ground in Brazil  
Infographic: Where in the US have Zika cases been reported?  
5 things to know about WHO's emergency response plan for Zika outbreak 

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