Zika/STD epidemic: Hook-up apps like Tinder could exacerbate spread of viruses linked to birth defects!
03/14/2016 / By Greg White / Comments
Zika/STD epidemic: Hook-up apps like Tinder could exacerbate spread of viruses linked to birth defects!

Smart Phone apps like Tinder are making it easier for people to hookup and have sex. By the same token, they’ve also made it easier to spread sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Now, the World Health Organization (WHO) claims that the Zika virus may spread through sexual contact, which could be exacerbated by dating apps.

In January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claimed their wasn’t enough cause for concern to issue a warning that the Zika virus could be spread by intercourse. However, the CNN reported that their have been cases where the virus was detected in semen. This prompted scientists to caution visitors of an affected area to use a condom when having sex.

“Until we know more, if your male sexual partner has traveled to or lives in an area with active Zika virus transmission, you should abstain from sex or use condoms the right way every time you have vaginal, anal, and oral sex for the duration of the pregnancy,” according to the updated guidance.

First case of sexually transmitted Zika confirmed in Dallas

Symptoms of the Zika virus include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. The first confirmed case of the Zika virus being transmitted by sexual contact was announced last week, according to the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services. The person was infected with the virus after having sex with someone who had recently visited Venezuela, which is just one of the many countries in South America dealing with the Zika outbreak.

The Dallas Country HHS issued a statement claiming the most effective ways to stop the sexual transmission of Zika are abstinence or to use a condom. The CDC confirmed that test results determined that Zika was in the blood of a “nontraveler in the continental United States.”


According to CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, “There have been isolated cases of spread through blood transfusion or sexual contact and that’s not very surprising. The virus is in the blood for about a week. How long it would remain in the semen is something that needs to be studied and we’re working on that now.”

Zika is primarily transmitted by the bite of mosquitoes. Now the public has to worry about spreading Zika through intercourse. Online dating apps like Tinder and Grindr already enable the proliferation of sexually transmitted disease like syphilis. Dating apps could do the same for Zika.

Syphilis rates skyrocket because of online dating apps

In Clarke County, Nevada, for instance, the number of syphilis cases has increased by a whopping 6,000 percent in the last fifteen years. The infection rate was highest among men between the ages of 20 and 35; however, the disease continues to plague the population in general. Many recent patients caught it in nursing homes.

Chief of Infectious Diseases at Mountain View Hospital, Dr. Dhaval Shah is treating approximately 70 patients with syphilis. He claims a number of his patients can’t tell him who gave them the virus, since they met their partners with dating apps. He says another reason for the rise in syphilis has to do with tourists flocking to Las Vegas for weekend flings.

The Zika virus has  spread to at least 29 countries and will infect anywhere from 3 million to 4 million people in the next year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It’s unclear whether this estimate considers dating apps as a way to spread the virus. The CDC is recommending pregnant women to not travel to infected areas. Some health officials even recommend women in those areas to not become pregnant for two years.

The moral of the story? Love bites.

Sources include:

(1) CNN.com


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