Seattle Sperm Bank first wrote about the Zika virus in February 2016 as it was rapidly spreading from Brazil to other parts of the Americas. Though the issue has been out of the news for a while, scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have continued to research the virus. Now, in a study released in the April 12, 2018 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, the CDC is planning to reassess the current guidelines for protecting against the sexual transmission of Zika, so we wanted to update you on the issue.
Current CDC guidelines call for men who have traveled to a Zika-active region either use condoms or abstain from sex for at least six months. But this new research finds that Zika virus particles may stay in semen for a shorter time than originally thought when compared with non-infectious Zika. These findings are why the CDC is looking at whether current Zika virus recommendations should be changed. For now, the current guidelines remain in place, but new ones could be released within a few months.
This new research also underscores why SSB does not do blood testing for Zika. First, there is no FDA-approved test for the virus. Second, as Dr. Heinz Feldmann, chief of virology for the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases stated in the article, most of the time existing diagnostic tools do not detect the infectious virus. Instead, these tools detect the presence of zika genes.
We will continue to use the most rigorous screening process in the industry to ensure the safety of our clients. This includes improving and adjusting our processes as new research is conducted and guidelines change.
If you have questions about how we screen for Zika or any other conditions, please call one of client services coordinators at 206-588-1484 or firstname.lastname@example.org.