Rio de Janeiro – Brazil’s authorities informed that the Zika virus has been found in patient’s saliva and urine, making possible the transmission via sex and fluids, adding more difficulties to stop the spread. Officials have even urged pregnant women not to kiss strangers during the country’s freewheeling Carnival celebrations.
The virus was previously thought to be transmitted primarily from mosquito bites, but with the new findings that proved presence of the virus in saliva and urine, the U.S. officials warned that it could also be transmitted through sex and blood transfusions, prompting new worries about the population’s health.
Oswaldo Cruz Foundation’s scientists said in the case of saliva and urine further investigation is needed, but they cannot say that there is no possibility of transmission. “In light of the possibility of being in contact with someone who is infected, do not kiss, obviously,” Dr. Paulo Gadelha, the foundation’s president, told reporters.
The researchers used genetic testing to identify the Zika virus in the corporal fluids from the two patients who had previously tested positive for the virus. They concluded that the virus was active, meaning that could lead to a potential infection in a healthy person.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended more strict measures for monitoring pregnant women for Zika and preventing the sexual transmission of the virus, as reported by Reuters.
The CDC recommended men with a pregnant partner that have traveled into areas where the virus spread, to use condoms during sex with their partner or abstain from intercourse during the pregnancy.
Brazil have been one of the countries where the virus has spread the most, as the country struggle to contain it and at the same time prepare for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August. Brazilians have been rushing to get repellent, and even have created a shortage of some brands.
The World Health Organization said that between January 2014 and February 5, 2016, a total of 33 countries have reported the virus.