Experts are currently investigating that Zika Virus can be spread via sweat or tears after a man in Utah appeared to have caught Zika while at his father’s bedside.
Zika Virus is only said to transmit through the bite of infected mosquitoes and in some instances, pregnant women to their babies and from semen during sex.
A paper in the New England Journal of Medicine
detailed the case of a 38-year-old man in Utah who is said to have transmitted the virus when he was in the hospital, at his father’s bedside. The man’s father died of organ failure though he was reported to be fit and healthy.
The father returned from a three-week holiday at the south coast Mexico when he was admitted in a Salt Lake City hospital due to low blood pressure and abdominal pain. While at the trip, he said he was bitten by mosquitoes. Doctors first suspected Dengue Virus but the test results proved he had high levels of Zika Virus on his blood.
After five days, his son reported rash, fever, and conjunctivitis but the Zika Virus was identified in his urine, not on his blood.
The son has recovered but his infection remains a mystery. As reported, there were no Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes
with Zika Virus in Utah and he had not been to Mexico with his father. The son also confirmed that he had not had sex with someone who had Zika.
Dr. Sankar Swaminathan and his colleagues from the University of Utah School of Medicine, authors of the paper, said
, “infectious levels of virus may have been present in sweat or tears, both of which Patient 2 [the son] contacted without gloves. Whether contact with highly infectious body fluids from patients with severe Zika virus infection poses an increased risk of transmission is an important question that requires further research.”
The second mystery is why the father died when he didn’t have any underlying medical conditions however; he had just completed a radiotherapy course to treat prostate cancer. This then led doctors to believe that Zika virus may have reproduced in a faster rate in tissues that have gone through radiation.