A study has found that the Zika virus can cause a man’s balls to shrink and significantly lower fertility.
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The research, which was published in the journal Nature, studied the effects of the virus on mice. The scientists involved are so worried about the findings that they have warranted a further study for the implications this has on humans.
The study saw male mice injected with the Zika virus. After a week, the scientists found evidence of viral genes but everything seemed normal. However, after three weeks disaster had struck, and the testes in the Zika-infected mice had shrunk to a tenth of their normal size. Poor little mice.
Dr Michael Diamond of the Washington University in St. Louis who lead the study said:
We saw significant evidence of destruction of the seminiferous tubules, which are important for generating new sperm.
Zika also appeared to infect and kill Sertoli cells, which are essential for fertility as they maintain the barrier between the bloodstream and the testes and they foster sperm growth.
So far, much of the global fight against Zika has focused on protecting pregnant women due to the grave implications it has on their unborn children. The virus causes a severe birth defect where the child is born with an undersized head and brain. However, clearly there are health issues that arise for men too. This has been made clear through Diamond’s work and hopefully more information will come to light as they roll out further studies.
Seriously though, if this is the case and the Zika virus causes men’s balls to shrink to 90% their size then that would totally suck. Probably even more so than getting your testicles stuck in an IKEA chair.