New Study Suggests Women More Likely to Contract Zika than Men from sex

Scientists studying the Zika virus have become more concerned about women contracting the disease directly from men as indicated by the results of new research. Two reports state that women in Latin America are more likely to be infected with Zika than men despite the fact that both sexes have equal exposure to the virus-carrying mosquitoes. While the data continues to come in, and while not all scientists agree on whether there is a real cause-and-effect link, there are indications that women have a greater risk for sexually transmitted Zika than previously believed. One study controlled for pregnant women who are tested more frequently for the virus, and one study did not implement such controls. When adjusted for pregnancy, women were 90 percent more likely than men of the same age to be affected. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, directors of the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases (NIAID), it is not certain that women are more at risk of Zika than men but that the studies’ results were “striking.” Some scientists believe that the number of women affected may be higher just because women are more concerned about Zika in general and are tested more frequently. The Centers for Disease Control is aware of only 13 cases of sexually transmitted Zika in the continental United States. As research continues, the World Health Organization (WHO) has already provided safe-sex guidelines in response to Zika.