Urgent Warning For Covid-19 Patients After Virus Found In Semen Of Some Recovered Men
A new study suggests men who have been infected with coronavirus should avoid having sex, even shortly after they've recovered, to avoid passing the virus on via their semen.
Researchers in China studied semen samples from patients several days after their virus symptoms had subsided and had shown no evidence of Covid-19.
They found a small number of them had coronavirus in their semen, presenting the idea the disease could be transmitted sexually.
Scientists are now urging health chiefs to warn patients to avoid having sex for a particular period of time after recovering.
The study, by doctors at China’s Shangqiu Municipal Hospital, involved 38 male patients who had been hospitalised with the disease.
Six of them, or 16 percent, had tested positive for Covid-19 in their semen.
The researchers said the findings were preliminary and based on only a small number of infected men, meaning more research is needed to see whether sexual transmission might play a role in the pandemic.
“Further studies are required with respect to the detailed information about virus shedding, survival time and concentration in semen,” the team wrote in the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
They explained if it could be proven that Covid-19 is being transmitted sexually it might play a critical role in the prevention of the disease considering it was detected in recovering patients.
However, other academics say the findings should be viewed with caution because other similar studies have not detected the novel coronavirus in sperm.
Another small study out of China looked at 12 Covid-19 patients who all tested negative for coronavirus in their semen.
Allan Pacey, a professor of andrology at Britain’s Sheffield University, noted there are many technical difficulties of testing semen for viruses but said "we should not be surprised "if the virus that causes Covid-19 is found in the semen of some men."
Pacey said this has been evident with other viruses like Ebola and Zika.