How long does the Zika virus remain active?

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Offline thedoc

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How long does the Zika virus remain active?
« on: 05/08/2016 23:23:01 »
Steven Mushkat asked the Naked Scientists:
   Hi Chris and team, your podcasts are terrific!  I especially like your Q&A episodes.  This time around I do have a question.  We've heard how the Zika virus is a risk to pregnant women - but how long does the virus remain active for women who might become pregnant?  Is that something to be concerned about, contracting the virus today, and having to worry about the pregnancy in five years time? Or is that enough time for the body to fight off the virus?  Same question for men as well as potential carriers.

Thank you the podcasts!
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 05/08/2016 23:23:01 by _system »


Offline evan_au

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Re: How long does the Zika virus remain active?
« Reply #1 on: 06/08/2016 09:18:18 »
There is a lot we don't know about Zika.

CDC recommends that if a woman waits about 8 weeks after a potential exposure to the virus before trying to get pregnant, it should have been cleared from the her bloodstream, and it should be safe to get pregnant.
There have been cases of men infecting their partners through sex. The testes are somewhat protected from the immune system, so the virus may take longer to clear. Viral RNA has been found in semen up to 2 months after infection, so a wait of 6 months after exposure would be a cautious approach.

This seems a very readable summary of what we don't know:

CDC will keep their information up-to-date as more is learned: