Covid-19: Detected in the semen of patients who no longer have symptoms, is the virus also an STD?
Chinese researchers have identified traces of coronavirus in the sperm of some patients recovered from Covid-19. Is sexual transmission possible?
Could the coronavirus also be a sexually transmitted disease (STD)? This is the question that arises after the discovery made by Chinese researchers: they discovered that the sperm of some patients with Covid-19 had traces of the virus. It has been especially observed in patients cured of the coronavirus.
Their study, published in the Jama Network Open journal, was conducted at Shangqiu Hospital, China, in 38 patients affected by Covid-19. The semen of six of them (15.8%) contained traces of coronavirus in their semen. Of these patients, four (26.7%) were still in the acute stage of infection and two (8.7%) were recovering.
Coronavirus: sexual transmission is unproven
Do these results suggest that the coronavirus can be transmitted through sperm? The question remains open. The authors of this research note that "further studies are needed on detailed information on virus excretion, survival time and sperm concentration." "If it could be demonstrated in future studies, sexual transmission could be an essential element in the prevention of the coronavirus," the researchers add.
Zika and Ebola also survive in sperm
If the coronavirus is transmitted primarily through salivary droplets emitted by speaking, coughing, sneezing, or by contaminated objects, previous studies have also indicated the presence of traces of coronavirus in blood, feces, or tears. This is not the first time that a virus has been detected in semen: Ebola and Zika have also been detected in these sexual fluids, sometimes several months after the patients' recovery.