You need to protect yourself. Seriously.
If you've picked up a newspaper, turned on the TV, or casually looked around the internet, then you know what the Zika virus is. But here's a quick refresher, just so we're all on the same page.
The Zika virus was originally transmitted by mosquitos, though now scientists have discovered it can also be transmitted through blood, semen, and other bodily fluids.
The symptoms of the Zika virus are flu-like, but only 1 in 5 people with the virus will have any symptoms at all.
The virus is exceptionally dangerous to pregnant women who can pass the virus on to their fetuses. In babies Zika can cause microcephaly, and other brain problems.
But here's where your vagina comes in.
(I mean, your vagina's been here the whole time, but in terms of the story I'm telling here today.)
Scientists are researchers are reporting that a woman with Zika carried the virus in her vagina for weeks.
When a Florida resident went to spend time with family in Honduras she came back with flu like symptoms, peeling hands and feet, and conjunctivitis. These are all huge symptoms of Zika, and she knew it. She was smart enough to get her butt to a hospital, and was she was treated and kept under close surveillance.
What they learned from this one woman's vagina proved that Zika could be more transmissible through sexual intercourse than was previously thought.
Our poor vaginas make a perfect home for Zika where it can live for weeks at a time. And even worse, the virus can REPLICATE inside our vaginas.
Ah yes, the lady garden, the perfect petri dish for nastiness.
But don't worry, men aren't off the hook either. Scientists found that Zika can live in their semen for months at a time.
The fact that Zika can live for so long inside a vagina transforms the way we think about this disease, especially now that more cases of Zika are being reported in the United States.
Your vagina, a veritable wonderland ... but also a safe haven for some nasty little viruses.
So make sure you take care of it — and yourself.