How Zika is Transmitted
Beyond the Bite
The uniqueness of Zika’s mode of transmission transcends the mosquito bite. An added complication to this disease is that it can move from human to human. This factor has brought about greater alarm within the medical community due to the difficulty in controlling human movements and activities. So the disease can continue to spread without mosquito involvement through sexual and trans-placental transmission. Public health agencies worldwide are recommending that women avoid pregnancy and only engage in protected sex even when pregnant, or practice abstinence. Women who are pregnant or become pregnant should take extreme precautions to prevent mosquito bites where there is a risk of Zika.
Medical professionals are isolating much higher concentrations of Zika virus in patients’ urine, sweat, saliva and semen than they find in blood. Health officials continue to study this disease and because of its ability to move from human to human without mosquitoes involved other modes of human to human transmission may be possible, but are not yet confirmed by WHO or CDC.
In order to prevent contact with Zika infected mosquitoes, people need to inspect and treat their properties where Aedes mosquitoes breed, develop and harbor; people need to protect their exposed skin with an EPA approved insect repellent, people need to avoid travel to areas with high rates of Zika infection, people need to practice safe sex with partners who have recently traveled to Zika infected areas; and women need to seek medical advice if they become pregnant by an individual who has been exposed to the Zika virus.