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Brazil Warns Zika Virus Could Be Transmitted Via Urine, Saliva

A medical researcher works on results of tests for various diseases, including Zika, at the Gorgas Memorial laboratory Panama City, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. Panamanian authorities announced Monday that 50 cases of the Zika virus infection have been detected in Panama's sparsely populated Guna Yala indigenous area along the Caribbean coast where they are conducting an aggressive campaign to contain the spread of the virus. (Arnulfo Franco/AP)
A medical researcher works on results of tests for various diseases, including Zika, at the Gorgas Memorial laboratory Panama City, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. Panamanian authorities announced Monday that 50 cases of the Zika virus infection have been detected in Panama's sparsely populated Guna Yala indigenous area along the Caribbean coast where they are conducting an aggressive campaign to contain the spread of the virus. (Arnulfo Franco/AP)

Researchers working in conjunction with the Brazilian government announced today that active Zika virus was found in urine and saliva samples. That means it might be possible to transmit the virus through those bodily fluids.

There are already two known cases of sexual transmission of Zika virus. The virus is mainly spread by mosquitoes, and in most people causes no symptoms or mild symptoms, but it has been linked to birth defects in cases where the mother contracted the virus while pregnant.

Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with Jason Beaubien from the NPR Science Desk about the new discovery.

Guest

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