Posted by Margaret Donohue on February 2, 2016 at 10:35 PM
The new information on the Zika virus is that there is a confirmed case of sexual transmission of the virus in Texas. This means that anyone, male or female, traveling to an area where the virus is epidemic, or anyone who has flu like symptoms following being bitten by a mosquito should:
- Not donate blood.
- Not engage in sexual activity without using a condom.
- Be closely monitored if you or your partner become pregnant following symptom development. An ultrasound at 20 weeks to check head size for microcephaly may be indicated.
It would be appropriate to ask the CDC to do something to protect the blood supply.
It would also be important to identify anyone that has tested positive for the Zika virus and develop a data base to evaluate long term sequela. Zika is a virus that can be expected to produce long term complications following infection. For many people this may simply be arthritis and may be quite mild. However, given the affinity of this virus for nerve cells in fetuses causing microcephaly, it would not be a stretch to expect that it may produce complications in nerve cells in adults.
- Arthritis. This has already been found in people with the virus.
- Neuropathy, that sensation of pins and needles people experience when their arm or leg falls asleep.
- Multiple sclerosis like symptoms from changes in nerve cells.
- Guillain-Barre syndrome, an ascending slow paralysis or weakness already associated with the virus.
- Muscle pain and weakness, already associated with the virus.
- Since the virus and vector are similar to Dengue fever, hemorrhage, thrombocytopenia, or other blood disorders may also be complications.