While women and babies have been at the heart of Zika-related outreach since the virus really took hold, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now reaching out to men.

Health officials are asking that if any man has even possible Zika virus exposure, they take precautions and wait to conceive a child until at least six months after symptom onset (if symptomatic) or last possible Zika virus exposure (if asymptomatic).

The updated guidelines come as health officials try to stem the tide of infection in the U.S., not only through mosquito bites, but sexual intercourse — the other most known cause of transmission. Federal health officials will soon outline where much of the $1.1 billion finally allocated this past week by Congress for Zika funding will be focused.

“We learn more about Zika every day. The more we learn, the more concerned we are.”

They are funds that are being distributed quickly, since so much time has already been lost. “Zika is the latest in a series of unpredicted and unpredictable health threats,” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden in a conference call with reporters Monday. “We learn more about Zika every day and the more we learn, the more concerned we are.”

There are at least five vaccine candidates in development either by the National Institutes of Health, by the NIH in collaboration with other agencies, or by private industry alone. All are staggered in their development — some are already in clinical trials, while others are angling to be next in line.

“The first one most of you are familiar with,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “It is the DNA vaccine developed at the DNA Vaccine Research Center. We’ve put our first patient on that trial, which is a Phase 1 involving 80 individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 done at three sites — the NIH, the University of Maryland, and Emory University in Atlanta.”

Related: Big Bad Zika Gets Its Own Health Centers

That trial began Aug. 2. Over the weekend, the trial enrolled its 80th patient, which is ahead of what health officials expected. Once a safe dosage is determined, that vaccine will move into Phase 2 of the clinical trial and will span over 15 sites where active transmission is occurring, such as South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Puerto Rico. Phase 2 should see the enrollment of 2,400 to 5,000 individuals — assuming all goes well between now and then.

[lz_bulleted_list title=”Zika in the U.S.” source=”http://www.cdc.gov”]U.S. States and D.C. 3,625|U.S. Territories 22,069|Pregnant women in U.S. and D.C. 808|Pregnant women in U.S. Territories 1,490[/lz_bulleted_list]

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“What we can now do with the $152 million — most of which will be dedicated to vaccine development — is proceed in a smooth transitional fashion with that Phase 2 trial, as well as begin both the preclinical and early clinical development of several of the other early candidates. So if there is an outbreak that continues as we get into the winter in the southern part of the hemisphere, we will be able to have people on the trial who clearly will be at risk for infection. This will allow us to get vaccine efficacy points and hopefully we’ll have some very important information within a year after the start of that trial,” said Fauci.

Diagnostic tests are also being developed with the newly released funding. This is another priority area of research, as “there is such a critical need,” said Dr. Nicole Lurie, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Additionally, there is a focus on pathogen reduction technologies to secure the long-term safety of the U.S. blood supply. This is true as well of Zika’s impact on pregnancy and the long-term health of babies born with both microcephaly and other congenital problems caused by the virus.

Another new study out Monday states the virus lingers in the saliva, sex organs, and nervous systems of monkeys long after the infection is gone from the blood. The concern with the most recent findings is that certain organs may harbor the virus even after the immune system has beaten it back, leaving open the possibility it could affect a person far longer than anticipated. As well, there is concern that Zika could cause more neurological issues in adults than first thought.

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