A new study says that the Zika virus may be even more easily transmittable than doctors originally thought. According to a study from The New England Journal of Medicine, scientists have reason to believe that the Zika virus, previously thought only to be transmitted by vaginal sex, can also be transmitted through oral sex, and even "deep kissing." That's right, even frenching is not safe anymore. The scientists concluded:
We cannot rule out the possibility that transmission occurred not through semen but through other biologic fluids, such as pre-ejaculate secretions or saliva exchanged through deep kissing
If you have been swapping spit recently, don't panic. Dr. John T. Brooks, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told The New York Times that it is very unlikely for the Zika virus to be transmitted via kissing, that is, unless you were really, really getting into it. But still, they can't be totally sure.
Casual kissing has got to be safe because, if it weren’t, don’t you think we’d see a lot more Zika? Every mom who kissed her baby would pass it on. To be sure, we’d have to look for deep kissing in the absence of sexual contact, and that’s hard to find.
Public health officials worry that the virus could start affecting Americans within the next few weeks. They say that the number one thing people should be doing to avoid the virus is to prevent getting mosquito bites in the first place. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people should skip the more "natural" bug repellents in favor for the real heavy duty stuff, and try to opt for bug sprays that have Picaridin and DEET.
Or you can always do what you were originally planning on doing this summer, which is stay indoors next to your AC. That is one way to keep mosquitos away.