Zika Virus May be Long Lasting

Zika lasts up to three weeks before the immune system destroys it
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Africa (Zika News)

A team of researchers found that the Zika virus may remain in some organs and fluids of rhesus and macaque monkeys even after the immune system has removed it from the blood stream.

These researchers report that when a person is infected with the Zika virus, it makes its way immediately into the lymph nodes. But within five days, the immune system had cleared the Zika virus from the bloodstream.

Which is a good thing.

They also found that the virus was still present in saliva, testes, prostate and semen in males and in the uterus in females, up to three weeks before it was finally overcome by the immune system.

They also found that at some point, the virus had made its way to the cerebrospinal fluid around the brain, and spinal fluid, and that it had infected neurons in the cerebellum.

It is not clear at this time if the Zika virus moves through a living human in the same way.

If it is the case, it could mean there is a longer infectious period for patients.

Many people infected with Zika virus won’t have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis (red eyes), muscle pain or headaches.

A blood or urine test can confirm Zika infection diagnosis. As of today, there is no specific medicine for Zika.

See your doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare provider if you have the symptoms described above, or if you have visited an area with Zika cases being reported.

This is especially important if you are pregnant. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider where you traveled.