Coronavirus found in patients' semen in small Chinese study

Coronavirus detected in semen of infected men ―Chinese study

Coronavirus could be spread by sex, new research shows

Independent experts said the findings were interesting but should be viewed with caution and in the context of other small studies that have not found the new coronavirus in sperm.

A previous study found that of 12 coronavirus patients in China, none of their semen tested positive.

Genetic material from the coronavirus was found in the semen of six patients - four of whom were at the "acute stage of infection" and two of whom were "recovering".

Chinese scientists have detected coronavirus in the semen of infected men but further research will be needed to determine whether the virus can be sexually transmitted.

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Writing in the journal JAMA Network Open, researcher Dr Shixi Zhang, from the Shangqiu Municipal Hospital, says "the survival of SARS-CoV-2 in a recovering patient's semen maintains the likelihood to infect others".

Allan Pacey, a professor of andrology at Britain's Sheffield University, said the studies should not be seen as conclusive, since there were some technical difficulties in testing semen for viruses.

"This opens up the possibility that one route of infection may be through sexual contact, although this was not confirmed in the paper".

"However, we should not be surprised if the virus which causes Covid-19 is found in the semen of some men since this is been shown with many other viruses such as Ebola and Zika".

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Others scientists said the study raised "important questions".

More from the New York Times: If semen tests positive for the coronavirus, that does not mean that infectious virus is present, said Dr. Stanley Perlman, a professor of microbiology, immunology and pediatrics at the University of Iowa, who was not involved in the study.

"This included men in the active stage of infection but also a couple of men who were in the clinical stages of recovery from COVID-19".

"This finding raises the possibility that Covid-19 might also be transmissible via semen and thus via sexual contact, perhaps including during the recovery phase".

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