Do I Still Need to Worry About Zika?

From Time Health
April 17, 2018

Warmer weather signals the onset of vacations, destination weddings and—unfortunately—mosquitoes. Since the Zika virus emerged three years ago in the Americas, cases have declined, but many people wonder if they still need to consider the mosquito-borne disease when making travel plans.

“The bottom line is yes,” says Dr. Paul Mead, a medical officer in the CDC’s division of vector-borne diseases: Americans do still need to take precautions to protect against Zika. The CDC recommends that pregnant couples who live or travel to areas with Zika (a list that currently includes countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America, North America, South America and the Pacific Islands) should use condoms every time they have oral, vaginal or anal sex, or should abstain from sex altogether during the pregnancy—even if the pregnant woman’s partner does not have symptoms or feel sick. The CDC also advises against sharing sex toys. These precautions help protect against the devastating birth defects that have been linked to Zika.

But new research suggests some good news: that the window of sexual transmission for Zika may be shorter than previously thought.

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