The risk of contracting the Zika virus through sexual transmission is a lot higher than previously assumed, according to a new report released by the World Health Organization. The disease was previously thought to be very difficult to be passed through sexual means, therefore implying the chance of catching the disease through such actions was miniscule, or at the very least improbable. However, now tests that have been done have shown that the risks of contracting the disease this way are actually substantial, and this could mean a whole new way of preventing the disease may need to be researched and looked into.
The information was made public after a meeting of the UN health agency’s emergency committee. At this meeting, it was also claimed that there is ever increasing evidence that a spike in disturbing birth defects found in newborn babies is down to the Zika disease. The disease is mostly spread by mosquito bites, and can have horrifying consequences for those who contract it.
The majority of the threat it poses is against pregnant women, who have a real chance of seeing damage to their baby caused by the Zika virus.
The director and general, Dr Margaret Chan, had this to say about the report.
“Reports and investigations in several countries strongly suggest that sexual transmission of the virus is more common than previously assumed.”
The outbreak of the disease, which is mostly being contained in Brazil and certain neighbouring areas, has been classified as an emergency situation by the agency and there are protective measures being taken at this moment to prevent further outbreak of the disease. Safeguards in protecting citizens from the outbreak have been taken in the majority of Brazil and neighbouring countries, and the hope is that the disease can be contained while scientists work on creating antidote to cure those who have contracted it.