One of the most common ways of Zika virus transmission is through sexual intercourse. To ensure the spread is limited, the authorities keep warning people to have safer sex.
More than the common public, the focus is on the Rio Olympics 2016 athletes who might spread the infection rapidly after returning from Rio de Janeiro, the place most prominently affected by the virus. The health authorities have already reminded the players to be safe and keep their partners safe by having prevented sex. They have been asked to be careful in the next eight weeks, the period that might produce relevant symptoms for the identification of the infection.
It is important to be sure that no infection is being carried from Brazil to Australia. Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley addressed the Australians along with Ro returnees to take relevant “precaution in the best protection.”
“There is a small chance that Zika is transmitted through sexual activity, so Australians returning from Brazil should use condoms or avoid unprotected sex for at least eight weeks,” Ley said. “That’s the advice of our chief medical officer.”
The Australian Olympic Committee gave a warning to the athletes in June to use mosquito repellent and condoms to avoid the Zika virus infection. The World Health Organization, on the other hand, claimed that there are several facts regarding long-term effects of the virus that are yet not known. Hence, it is important to remain out of the reach of the virus in all possible ways.
“There are no recommendations to male athletes about freezing sperm ahead of the Games and we’re not considering to do so,” an AOC spokesman told the ABC. “All team members have been fully briefed — that includes female athletes on ways to handle Zika. They have been given a medical briefing by the team’s medical director.”
Ley mentioned 44 confirmed cases of Zika virus infection in Australia in 2016 but none of them were locally acquired.