Much of the study and worry about Zika is over its potential to cause birth defects including microcephaly. Zika is known to invade the testes and be sexually transmitted in sperm for 80 days. Scientists* have been studying its effects in mice models and have disturbing news. Zika can infect and destroy cells of mice testes. This can result in a drop in hormone production and lead to shrinkage of testes. Ultimately, Zika can lead to sterility in mice. The next question to answer: Do the effects in mice also occur in humans?
*Jennifer Govero, Prabagaran Esakky, Suzanne M. Scheaffer, Estefania Fernandez, Andrea Drury, Derek J. Platt, Matthew J. Gorman, Justin M. Richner, Elizabeth A. Caine, Vanessa Salazar, Kelle H. Moley & Michael S. Diamond. Zika virus infection damages the testes in mice.