Sperm donations that hail from three different Florida counties may possibly contain the Zika virus, said the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC).
The organization recommends that possible future parents should “consider this potential risk” when using samples from Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties in Florida.
In the CDC’s recent press statement, they identified risks of transmitting Zika since June 15, 2016 throughout those three counties, which means that samples of sperm from across the region’s 12 banks could potentially be compromised. It was previously thought by the organization that sperm collected only from the Miami-Dade County had a possibility of containing the virus.
Scientists think that Zika is able to survive inside of sperm for around 6 months after contracting the virus. If Zika ends up infecting a fetus, researchers believe it will cause microcephaly, a condition where a baby is born having abnormal brain development and a small-sized head.
However, there has not been any evidence suggesting that infections donations of sperm can give a woman Zika, reported the AP. Officials from the CDC acknowledged that risks of this occurring is relatively low, but caution should be taken.
The CDC’s warning comes after an FDA recommendation that says sperm banks should be sure not to accept any donations from those with Zika, or have recently travelled to regions where it is prevalent. The US FDA also told banks not to accept sperm samples from men in the affected three counties in Florida.
The U.S. had begun to prepare itself for an increase in cases of Zika throughout the upcoming months. The most recent recording of the mosquito transmitted virus in the state of Florida occurred in December of 2016, but warming weather may see Florida residents being infected again.