When is a Zika virus infection not contagious?
Health and safety expert Dr Paul Tamez said that, even when people were infected, it was still possible to spread the virus.
“The virus does spread between people, and it spreads between people at different times of day and different parts of the country, but there is a lot of variability between different areas,” Dr Tameh said.
“There are a number of factors that can trigger outbreaks, and there are other factors that are quite unique.”
“Infection, whether it’s from direct contact with a virus, or even a virus that’s in a different species of mosquito, can spread between individuals.”
He said it was important to note that Zika virus was not contagious.
“When people have a viral infection, their symptoms, they’re not contagious,” he said.
Dr Tamel said there was a link between exposure to the virus and a risk of developing the virus in the future.
“That virus can be transmitted from person to person and that virus can potentially be transmitted to a child and the child’s exposure can lead to an infection,” he told ABC News Breakfast.
“So if someone is in a household that has that virus and then the virus spreads and the person has an infection, they can spread that infection to the next person who has the virus, that person can infect other people.”
Dr Tameso said while there were ways to protect yourself from infection, there was no vaccine.
“It’s a very complex process, so it’s very difficult to develop a vaccine,” he says.
Dr David Jones, from the Australian College of Infection and Immunity (ACAI), said the best thing to do was to avoid people.
“If you are going to be in a community where there’s a lot that is spread, particularly among young people, or if you are travelling and are going on holiday, then there’s probably a risk that you’re going to come into contact with other travellers and people who have Zika,” he explained.
“I think people should be extremely careful about the activities they’re doing and be very aware of the virus if they have a fever, cough, sore throat, or any other symptoms.”
Dr Jones said it could be difficult to detect Zika infection.
“People have been infected before, so there’s some level of chance that you could catch it from someone,” he added.
“But the infection may not be obvious.
There may be some residual virus that you don’t see or don’t realise that you have.”
What to do if you’re sick with Zika virus article If you or someone you know is sick with the Zika virus, contact your GP or health visitor, or contact a travel warning centre.
“We recommend that everyone get tested at least every 3 weeks,” Dr Jones said.
He said a few different ways to get tested include: A blood test for the Zika Virus A test for Guillain-Barre Syndrome A biopsy of the brain or the spinal cord A culture of the blood for Zika virus.
Dr Jones advised against any medical tests in the immediate aftermath of the infection.
The ACAI also recommended people avoid travel to Brazil, which is currently experiencing the worst of the outbreak.
“Avoiding travel to countries like Brazil is very important, and you should avoid travel by all means,” Dr Davis said.
“However, the Zika situation is very much in the early stages, and we are still in a relatively low level of the disease and we should not be making any assumptions about the health of people who travel to or from Brazil.”