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Current Affairs

Coronavirus found in semen

Date: 08 May 2020 Tags: Reports & Indices

Issue

The virus that causes COVID-19 can be found in semen, Chinese researchers report in a small study that doesn’t address whether sexual transmission is possible.

 

Background

Doctors detected the virus in semen from six of 38 men hospitalised with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. Four were still very sick with the disease while two were recovering.

 

Details

  • There was no long-term follow-up so it is not known how long the virus may remain in semen or if men can spread it to their partners during sex.

  • The results contrast with a study of 34 Chinese men with COVID-19 published last month in the journal Fertility and Sterility. U.S. and Chinese researchers found no evidence of virus in semen tested between eight days and almost three months after diagnosis.

  • Authorities believe the coronavirus mainly spreads from droplets produced when infected people cough, which are inhaled by people nearby.

  • Some studies have reported finding the virus in blood, feces and tears or other fluid from COVID-19 patients with inflammation in their eyes.

  • Evidence suggesting that other infectious viruses including Zika and Ebola may be sexually transmitted has prompted questions about the coronavirus.

  • The new study shouldn’t be cause for alarm. To be safe, though, it may be wise to avoid sexual contact with people until they are 14 days without symptoms.