Report: Coronavirus traces found in patients’ semen, scientists researching possibility of sexual transmission

Coronavirus

ATLANTA, GA – UNDATED: This undated handout photo from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows a microscopic view of the Coronavirus at the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia. According to the CDC the virus that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) might be a “previously unrecognized virus from the Coronavirus family.” (Photo by CDC/Getty Images)

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HENAN, China (WJW) — Researchers in China have found traces of COVID-19 in the semen of men who had been infected with the virus, according to the New York Times. It is unclear at this time if the virus can be sexually transmitted.

The new study was published Thursday in the JAMA Network Open journal.

Scientists at Shangqiu Municipal Hospital found samples of the virus in the semen of six coronavirus patients. 38 men, between the ages of 15 to 59, provided samples. They had all previously tested positive for COVID-19.

The group of six included two men who were infected with the virus and two who were recovering.

Researchers say it’s not surprising that the virus was found in semen as it has been previously found in stool and other bodily fluids.

Since the outbreak began, experts have said that could be transmitted through kissing, but they do not believe it could be sexually transmitted. The New York Times reiterates that this new data does not contradict that claim.

Dr. Stanley Perlman, a professor of microbiology, immunology and pediatrics at the University of Iowa, told the newspaper that just because semen tests positive for COVID-19 does not mean the virus is present.

“This is an interesting finding, but it must be confirmed that there is infectious virus — not just a virus product in the semen,” he reportedly said.

While research is still underway, scientists say at this point “there still is no evidence that a person could be infected by sexual contact or an intrauterine insemination procedure with infected sperm.”

They do say, however, that the virus can be transmitted during sex through infectious respiratory droplets.

Meanwhile, scientists across the globe are continuing to collect more data on the finding.

More on the coronavirus pandemic, here.

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