In recent months, experts have learned that the virus can survive on certain surfaces for three days and can be suspended in tiny aerosols for about 30 minutes. Scientists have discovered the virus in saliva, urine and faeces. Now, Chinese researchers have discovered that a new coronavirus, or part of it, maybe present in semen. The article was published in the medical journal “JAMA Network Open”, which is open to the public on Thursday but has not been proven that the virus can be transmitted sexually.
According to today’s New York Times report, research has shown that a new coronavirus can survive in sperm.
Scientists all over the world are trying to solve a mysterious riddle: how exactly the new coronavirus affects our body and how it spreads from person to person. At the Shangqiu City Hospital in Henan, central China, doctors examined sperm for 38 patients. Participants’ ages ranged from 15 to 59 years, and the new coronavirus test was positive.
Researchers found the genetic material of the new coronavirus in the semen of six patients, which is about 16%. Dr Zhao Weigo of the Eighth Medical Center of the Main Hospital of the People’s Liberation Army of Beijing and Dr Zhang Shixi of the Henan Shanqiu City Hospital wrote that four patients with positive sperm samples were “at the stage of acute infection”. They also said that two patients are recovering, “this is especially noteworthy.” According to the chart in the study report, one of the men had 16 days from the onset of the first symptoms.
The New York Times said that Dr Zhao Weiguo and Dr Zhang Shixi should not be contacted for comment.
According to the report, from the early days of the outbreak, public health experts have been saying that although the new coronavirus can be spread by kissing, they do not think it can be spread by sex. The new findings are not contradictory. Dr Stanley Perlman, a professor of microbiology, immunology and paediatrics at the University of Iowa, said that a positive semen test for the new coronavirus does not mean the presence of an infectious virus. Pellman did not participate in the study. According to him: “This is an interesting finding, but it must be confirmed whether there is an infectious virus in the semen-not just the product of the virus.” He also said that semen detection may only detect fragments of viral RNA.
Pellman pointed out that unlike the Zika virus, which is spread by blood, the new coronavirus is mainly transmitted through the oral or nasal route.
At present, there is no evidence that a person can be infected through sexual contact or intrauterine insemination with infected sperm. Infection during sexual activity is more likely to be transmitted through a common route: respiratory droplets.
Nevertheless, some doctors are still eager to conduct more research on the new coronavirus and semen for other reasons. If scientists find infectious viruses in semen, this may affect the safety of oral sex and the way semen is handled. Around the world, many fertility clinics have stopped accepting new patients-not only to reduce patient flow, but also because of fears that donor sperm may infect women who are trying to become pregnant.
The report quotes Dr Amir Kashi of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran in an article entitled “Covid-19 and Semen: Unresolved Fields of Research” (Covid-19 and Semen: An Unanswered Area of Research) pointed out that people urgently need more research.