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Sex After a Field Trip Yields Scientific Discovery 143

Posted by samzenpus
from the congratulations-on-your-infection dept.
sciencehabit writes "A US vector biologist appears to have accidentally written virological history simply by having sex with his wife after returning from a field trip to Senegal. A study just released in Emerging Infectious Diseases suggests that the researcher, Brian Foy of Colorado State University, passed to his wife the Zika virus, an obscure pathogen that causes joint pains and extreme fatigue. If so, it would be the first documented case of sexual transmission of an insect-borne disease. The curious case also solves a viral mystery that's been going on for years."
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Sex After a Field Trip Yields Scientific Discovery

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  • How many of Mr. Foy's female graduate assistants were tested for the disease?

    For all we know, there could be an outbreak going on right now at the CSU campus.

    • by PDX (412820)

      Pay no attention to the presence of sentient insects living on Earth. They are legal aliens of the United States of America. All legal aliens have already been screened for infectious diseases. That doesn't mean that they can't contract our diseases. They knew the risks when they decided to come here.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      What they really want to know is, if you can get an insect-vectored disease from sexual contact, can you get a sexually-vectored disease from sitting on a toilet seat? Or AIDS from shaking hands? And so on...

      • And the insects are wondering whether they should require humans to mark themselves in some way to indicate whether they are STD free or not...

        • by jcrb (187104)

          For the insects its not an STD, its a DTD..... Dining Transmitted Disease.... or I suppose it could be an STD.... Snacking Transmitted Disease?

      • by MBC1977 (978793)
        "...can you get a sexually-vectored disease from sitting on a toilet seat?"

        You should ask this guy [cnn.com]. I'm sure he may have an answer for that.
        • by juasko (1720212)

          It's far from impossible with some of those diseases, cant remember for sure now, but hepatitis or type of hepatitis could be one of them. An other would be chlamydia. There is a third version of chlamydia that is even transmitted over air. But the infection will be in the lungs and not at genital ares as with the other two types of chlamydia, also sometimes refereed to as TWAR.

          You need to exchange lots of air to get an infection, why it's not common with norman dudes. However it's not uncommon among sports

          • by blair1q (305137)

            However it's not uncommon among sportsmen who exchange a lot of air after a session. In the 80s or early 90s many who practiced orienteering (sports scouting) died due to that disease.

            I'm not sure how orienteering is particularly well-correlated with "exchang[ing] a lot of air after a session". Tents?

            Anyone who sits in a closed car with anyone else with the external venting off is exchanging all their air, so that would be where I'd go for a correlation.

        • by blair1q (305137)

          Dude didn't wipe or cover the seat at a Wal-Mart. His answers are not the answers I'm looking for.

      • Germs, bacteria, and viruse don't care HOW they are transmitted from one host to another. All they require are the correct temperatures, humidity, and nutrients. Since most of those little critters generally inhabit specific organs or tissue, they are generally not transmitted in unusual ways - but nothing actually bars them from unusual vectors. Imagine - little critter traffic cops, stopping the random green bug for traveling in an orange bug lane, LMAO!

        • by blair1q (305137)

          Cf. the story (possibly apocryphal) of a woman shot in the abdomen by a stray bullet in the Civil War. Later discovers she was pregnant. Conclusion is that the bullet passed through the testicles of the soldier it was aimed at.

    • by fractoid (1076465) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @12:26AM (#35741198) Homepage

      How many of Mr. Foy's female graduate assistants were tested for the disease?

      For all we know, there could be an outbreak going on right now at the CSU campus.

      More importantly, how many mosquitoes are there around Mr. Foy's home and/or workplace? I mean, it's a friggin mosquito-borne disease. Living in the same house as his wife, you'd expect it to be as likely for them to both be bitten by the same mosquito as it would be for a disease to spread in a manner previously thought impossible.

      • Asked and answered. (Score:5, Informative)

        by Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @12:48AM (#35741288)

        They considered that, but circumstantial evidence pointed to sexual transmission. According to TFA, the virus has to complete a 2-week life cycle within the insect before it can infect the next human; Foy's wife fell ill just 9 days after his return. Thus she did not get it from an insect bite. In addition, the mosquitoes in that region are not known carriers. (Different species.)

        • by fractoid (1076465)
          Damn your plausible explanations. :P
        • by Alex Belits (437) *

          But then wouldn't it be more likely that he brought an infected mosquito somewhere in his baggage?

          • Occam's Razor (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Arrepiadd (688829)

            "Sex transmits a disease just like it has been documents to happen in boars." (see TFA)
            vs
            "A mosquito gets in his (most likely) crappy, soft shell backpack in Senegal, stays inside it for two days while crossing a third of the globe, manages to survive the beating while being thrown around in the Senegalese roads and at two or three different airports, survives some cold temperatures in the cargo bay of an airplane (is stuff stored at room temperature or slightly below there?) gets safe and sound to his ho

          • But then wouldn't it be more likely that he brought an infected mosquito somewhere in his baggage?

            Exactly. It can happen with cockroaches, so why not with mosquitoes?

            • It is well known that cockroaches can survive just about anything. I'd assume that would include airline baggage handling, but I haven't done a peer reviewed study. Now a mosquito isn't quite so hardy.
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by juasko (1720212)

                Mosquitos survive winters with -30C degrees. That is why we in early summer have bigger mosquitos than later on in mid summer. But they are not many.

                Spiders the same way, but if a spider is woken up to early in the winter, as with a sudden hot winter in january to be frozen again in january it will not survive. No stored energy. Same thing with flies, big slow ones in spring. Very few though, then their offspring comes to life and are small.

                But to the point, a mosquito can survive that very well. But if tha

            • by Meski (774546)
              This is becoming analogous to the Monty Python coconut script.
        • by StikyPad (445176)

          Ah, but what if he had mosquito larvae from Senegal on his taint?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by radtea (464814)

        I mean, it's a friggin tropical mosquito-borne disease with a two-week development latency in mosiquitos that his wife got less than nine days after he returned.

        Isn't it amazing how a few little factual details can take a belief from the realm of "common sense" and teleport it straight to "imbecilic"?

    • by oztiks (921504)

      Sex with insects ... insectality? arthroality? arachnidality? what would be the proper terminology for this?

      • by Abstrackt (609015)

        Sex with insects ... insectality? arthroality? arachnidality? what would be the proper terminology for this?

        Assuming your penis is small enough to pleasure an insect the correct term would probably be entomonality. FYI, arachnids are not insects; arachnids have eight legs, insects have six.

      • by fifedrum (611338)
        rishathra?
    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      there could be an outbreak going on right now at the CSU campus.

      They're used to it.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Who did he get from in the first place? A fly? Sure you did, says his wife.
  • by Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @08:19PM (#35739754)

    ...to act as a control if you want.

    I'll be in the booth with no disease and Christina Hendricks. For science of course.

  • His wife must be excited!

    • by grcumb (781340)

      His wife must be excited!

      I doubt it. Seriously:

      1. They have sex.
      2. Afterwards, she experiences 'joint pains and extreme fatigue'.
      3. They immediately figure that these symptoms are caused by a virus???

      What kind of lame-ass, geriatric sex do these people have?!?

      • Plus, not only isn't she getting any oral, he's not even kissing her.

        • by rubycodez (864176)
          and she's not giving head either. Bet they do it missionary style under the covers in the dark, every time. Could put their sexual encounters in a PG-13 movie....
      • Re:Nice job (Score:5, Funny)

        by Darinbob (1142669) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:13PM (#35740162)

        Add to this all the inconvenience of being followed around all day by researchers documenting her every move, hoping to catch any mating procedures on film.

        • Add to this all the inconvenience of being followed around all day by researchers documenting her every move, hoping to catch any mating procedures on film.

          I always wondered what Attenborough on Humans would sound like... "And here... he buys her a drink. Alas, this time she drinks it... has a second look... and gives him the wrong number..."

          • by AgentSmith (69695)

            I always wondered what Attenborough on Humans would sound like... "And here... he buys her a drink. Alas, this time she drinks it... has a second look... and gives him the wrong number...

            OK. I nearly laughed my lungs out.

            Well done, sir! Well done!
            If only I had mod points.

          • "Mating Habits Of The Earthbound Human"... of course I did listen to it in Spanish so maybe it was the just the guy doubling Attenborough who was as a narrator, and in the original version it was not Attenborough. Anyway it was moderately funny and had Carmen Electra in it...
  • Hey, baby, want to make virological history?

    Eww, wait... no, that came out wrong. GAH! No, it didn't come out wrong like that... Someone isn't getting laid tonight. Sheesh, I am terrible at pick-up lines.

    • Yeah, I imagine telling someone you have a rare viral disease and want to find out if it's sexually transmissible isn't going to get you laid anytime soon...

  • It's not lupus.

  • He's also a Perl guru [amazon.com], and has the chutzpah to stop using capitals [pair.com], even for official publications.

    Reminds me of the intro to a talk once. "My name is Chromatic. You can call me Chromatic."

    Also reminds me of Robby [ksu.edu], the only academic one-name I've ever heard of.

    -- coppit (whose nick is easily traceable to his real name)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      if you go to brian d foy's web page about his name:

          http://www252.pair.com/~comdog/style.html

      People I am not

      Brian D. Foy, Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University

    • by swalve (1980968)
      What tiny penises these people must have that they have to resort to such silly games.
    • "People I am not: Brian D. Foy, Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University"

      Hmmmmm

    • by jcrb (187104)

      >Also reminds me of Robby [ksu.edu], the only academic one-name I've ever heard of.

      Well there is always Arvind [ http://csg.csail.mit.edu/Users/arvind/ [mit.edu] ]

        now you have heard of two

  • Uh... (Score:4, Funny)

    by bmo (77928) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:29PM (#35740290)

    "If so, it would be the first documented case of sexual transmission of an insect-borne disease. "

    There's a skeeter on my peter, whack it off
    There's another on my brother, whack it off
    There's a dozen on my cousin's
    I can hear the bastards buzzin'
    There's a skeeter on my peter, whack it off
    - John Valby

    Sung by Boy Scouts around campfires everywhere since 1960

    --
    BMO

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Leprosy
      All my skin is falling off of me
      I'm not half the man I used to be
      Oh I believe in leprosy

      Syphilis
      It all started with a simple kiss
      Now it hurts to even take a piss
      Oh how did I get syphilis

      Why her box was sick
      I don't know
      She wouldn't say

      But now my dripping dick
      Won't get thick
      Like yesterday

      Yesterday
      My cock was always coming out to play
      Now it needs two weeks to hide away
      Oh I believe in yesterday

      - John Valby

      And who can ever forget "The Ballad of Big Ass Lil and Yukon Pete"!

    • Re:Uh... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Kozz (7764) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @11:01PM (#35740780)

      Hmm. I think you and I must have gone to very different Boy Scout camps. (The difference is probably some kind of lawsuit).

      • by Coren22 (1625475)

        You never sang this song?

        Do your balls hang low
        can you swing them too and fro
        can you throw them over your shoulder
        like a continental solder
        do your balls hang low

        Things have changed quite a bit, but being a kid hasn't changed much.

  • How long do we have before the mosquitoes start squirting HIV all over the place?

    /not a biologist
  • This story is speculative at best. The article itself reads:

    There is no direct evidence that Foy's wife was infected through sexual contact, but the circumstantial evidence is strong.

    Would it be possible that the virus got transmitted by direct contact of open wounds on the two? (Like scratches, sores, etc....). I would not exclude the possibility

    I work in life sciences and I know for a fact that in order to have scientific proof for something like this you would need to have it confirmed in a quite large number of subjects. A single suspected instance of the transmission is far from being a scientific discovery .

    I h

  • I find the story "Mono Comes To Android" to be more interesting, and a greater biological challenge.
    • by AVryhof (142320)

      It might explain the slugishness of the interface and short battery life on some Android devices.

  • I've seen too many episodes of House. I can just see it now... Wilson at home or in his office, ticked off because House has somehow let mosquitos into the office, but chewing him out for something else entirely. Just as he's about to go off on another tangent, Wilson says, "Die, you malaria-spreading bitch!" (because we know only female mosquitos bite) all of a sudden, House will remember this article, get that weird vacant, distant look on his face, and leave the room. Wilson will kill another mosquito.

    • Something like this has already been on House, in the first couple of seasons. A woman picked up African Sleeping Sickness, and House had to convince her husband that she might have had an affair in order to treat her. The husband stayed around long enough to see that the treatment was working and then walked out of the hospital.

      House's line "Anything you can catch though blood, you can catch though sex." made the radio commercials before I had ever seen the show.

  • I would have told him to take his little souvenir back where it came from.

    The part they miss here, is the transmission from him to his wife was NOT the FIRST time that's ever happened.... But the second!

  • A U.S. geek appears to have accidentally written history simply by having sex.

    Fixed that for you.

  • This is another /. news worthy story, cmdtaco asleep at the wheel again...if you need editors tat badly, I am game for it...but you will only get pure geekspeak columns, and none of this crap.

  • Going down in history for having sex = the pinnacle of human achievement.
  • For science of course!

    He will have to test this hypothesis a number of times with various hot grad students to see if yields the same results. I figure a reasonable sample size should be 30-50 2-5 times each just to be scientifically through.

  • That's a good one, right up there with "I swear honey I got it from a toilet seat!". I smell a divorce in the works.....

    • by danlock4 (1026420)

      That's a good one, right up there with "I swear honey I got it from a toilet seat!". I smell a divorce in the works.....

      I'll bet that smells good.

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