By Maggie Fox | CNN
The modern coronavirus can persist in males’s semen even after they have begun to get well, a finding that raises the chance the virus can be sexually transmitted, Chinese researchers said Thursday.
A team at Shangqiu Municipal Hospital tested 38 male patients treated there at the top of the pandemic in China, in January and February.
About 16% of them had evidence of the coronavirus in their semen, the team reported in the journal JAMA Community Launch. About a quarter of them have been in the acute stage of infection and nearly 9% of them have been recovering, the team reported.
“We found that SARS-CoV-2 can be display in the semen of patients with COVID-19, and SARS-CoV-2 may level-headed be detected in the semen of recovering patients,” Diangeng Li of Chinese Other folks’s Liberation Army General Hospital in Beijing and colleagues wrote.
“Despite the fact that the virus cannot replicate in the male reproductive machine, it may persist, possibly resulting from the privileged immunity of testes,” the team added. Privileged immunity means the immune machine cannot absolutely reach the status to attack viral invaders.
It’s no longer a surprising finding. Many viruses can live in the male reproductive tract. Ebola and Zika virus have been each found to spread in semen, sometimes months after a male patient had recovered.
It’s no longer but clear if coronavirus can spread this way. Finding evidence of virus does no longer necessarily mean it’s infectious.
“If it can be proved that SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted sexually in future research, sexual transmission may be a critical part of the prevention of transmission,” the team wrote.
“Abstinence or condom use may be view to be as preventive means for these patients. In addition, it is worth noting that there may be a need for research monitoring fetal trend. Therefore, to avoid contact with the patient’s saliva and blood may no longer be sufficient, since the survival of SARS-CoV-2 in a recovering patient’s semen maintains the probability to infect others.”