A new study suggests that coronavirus can be transmitted sexually.
Research by scientists in China suggests that coronavirus is present in semen, and remains even after the patient has recovered from the virus.
Chinese scientists analysed 38 patients – 15 who were still in hospital and 23 who had recovered.
Six of the patients’ semen contained SARS-CoV-2, two of which had recovered from the illness.
However, only three had underlying health conditions.
Their findings concluded that the virus may remain much longer in the testes than the rest of the body.
Dr Shixi Zhang, from the Shangqiu Municipal Hospital, wrote in the medical journal JAMA Network Open.
Dr Zhang said: “The survival of SARS-CoV-2 in a recovering patient’s semen maintains the likelihood to infect others.”
Meanwhile, the study suggested that abstinence or condom use was the safest option for those infected with coronavirus.
Authors led by Dr Diangeng Li wrote: “If it could be proved, sexual transmission might be a critical part of the prevention of transmission.
“Especially considering the fact that SARS-CoV-2 was detected in the semen of recovering patients.
“Even if the virus cannot replicate in the male reproductive system, it may persist.
“To avoid contact with the patient’s saliva and blood may not be enough.
“Since the survival of SARS-CoV-2 in a recovering patient’s semen maintains the likelihood to infect others.”
Prof Allan Pacey, Professor of Andrology at Sheffield University, told The Sun: “It shows that RNA for the virus responsible for Covid-19 can be detected in the semen of a proportion 16 per cent of men with a confirmed infection.”
In addition, Prof Pacey said there’s a possibility that “one route of infection may be through sexual contact”.
He added: “However, we should not be surprised if the virus which causes Covid-19 is found in the semen of some men.”
Coronavirus death toll
The world coronavirus death toll is over 270,000.
Meanwhile, the UK death toll currently stands at over 30,000.
However, both figures are likely considerably higher due to many recovering at home and a lack of testing.
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