Chinese researchers have found out that coronavirus could stay in men's semen even after they are on their way to recovery. There is, hence, a possibility that corona could be sexually transmitted, said the research.
According to a report in CNN, a team at Shangqiu Municipal Hospital landed at this report after testing 38 male patients at a time when coronavirus was at its peak in the country in the months of January and February. Out of the subjects, 16 per cent had evidence of coronavirus in their semen. A quarter of them were severely infected and around 9 per cent of them were recovering, the scientists mentioned in the JAMA Network Open journal.
"We found that SARS-CoV-2 can be present in the semen of patients with COVID-19, and SARS-CoV-2 may still be detected in the semen of recovering patients," stated Diangeng Li of Chinese People's Liberation Army General Hospital in Beijing.
The team stated that even if the COVID virus cannot replicate in the male reproductive system, it might persist. This could happen due to the privileged immunity of testes. Privileged immunity means that the immune system cannot fully attack invaders in certain parts of the body.
Coronavirus, like many others including Ebola and Zika, might be able to live in the male reproductive tract. Ebola and Zika were found in semen of patients who had recovered months earlier, states the new site. It also added that it is unclear if coronavirus can spread through sexual transmission.
The Chinese scientists said that deciphering if coronavirus can be sexually transmitted would prove to be critical in the prevention of transmission. Use of condom or abstinence might also be considered as preventive means for these patients.
Globally, 4,016,021 people have been infected so far with 1,387,795 recoveries and 276,269 deaths.