A researcher looks at Aedes aegypti mosquitoes kept in a container at a lab of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences of the Sao Paulo University, on January 8, 2016
KUSA - The Red Cross is asking anyone who has traveled to a country where there's been an outbreak of the Zika virus to wait at least a month before donating blood.
Health experts believe we'll see between three million and four million cases of the virus in the next year, primarily in Central and South America.
There are now concerns in Brazil that Zika could be associated with a debilitating condition in adults called Guillain-Barre Syndrome. The disease effects the nervous system and can become life-threatening. The syndrome also can cause temporary paralysis.
It's treatable, though, with blood-cell infusions and physical therapy
"Within the last year, we have had 55 cases," said Neurologist Dr. Lucia Brito, who added she believes the virus is "absolutely" connected to the syndrome.
It's a startling new theory about Zika, which is already causing alarm among the international health community. There's evidence the disease is causing a severe birth defect called Microcephaly -- abnormally small heads and brains in newborns. No definitive link has been proven.
Meanwhile, here in the U.S., health officials say someone who recently traveled to Venezuela appears to have infected another person through intercourse. making it the first confirmed example of sexually transmitted Zika.
Those cases emerged near Dallas.
"If a man comes back, gets sick with Zika, and then has sexual intercourse with a woman, who is pregnant or may become pregnant, there is a theorhetical risk that woman could become infected with Zika," said Tom Frieden, the director of the CDC.
9NEWS recently spoke with a CSU professor who believes he infected his wife the same way. Their transmission hasn't been verified by the CDC.
(Copyright © 2016 USA TODAY)