5 Bodily Fluids in Which Zika Virus Can Hang Out
We know Zika comes from the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, but it can also linger dangerously in certain bodily fluids of those who are infected. Here's the rundown.
- •BloodThe CDC says Zika lingers in the blood for about a week. Two Zika patients in Brazil received the virus through blood transfusions, and the U.S. Red Cross has asked people not to donate blood if they traveled recently to Latin America or the Caribbean.
- •SalivaA study in French Polynesia found that the virus was more frequently found in the saliva of patients with Zika symptoms than in their blood.
- •UrineA small study in New Caledonia detected the virus in patients' urine more than 10 days after their first symptoms, and more than a week after it became undetectable in blood.
- •SemenZika seems to be able survive in semen for as long as a few weeks after a man has recovered from the virus -- in other words, after it is no longer detectable in his blood.
- •Breast milkAnother study in French Polynesia found the virus in the breast milk of infected mothers, and concluded that two babies who tested positive for Zika virus within days of birth possibly acquired it from their mothers' bodily fluids during pregnancy or birth.