Covid-19 not transmitted through sex, study suggests

Health experts warn against kissing as mucus droplets from the nose, mouth lead to contraction of virus


Social Desk April 23, 2020
A file photo of a couple sitting in front of a fountain in Athens' Syntagma square August 5, 2004. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

While many have abstained from sex amid the coronavirus pandemic, a new study has reassured that the virus is not transmitted through sex.

Researchers from the University of Utah Health have found new evidence that the virus does not show up in the semen or testes of men.

Dr James Hotaling, co-author of the study, said: “The fact that in this small, preliminary study that it appears the virus that causes Covid-19 doesn't show up in the testes or semen could be an important finding.

“If a disease like Covid-19 were sexually transmittable that would have major implications for disease prevention and could have serious consequences for a man's long-term reproductive health.”

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In the study, the researchers collected semen samples from 34 Chinese men one month after they were diagnosed with coronavirus.

Lab tests did not detect the virus in any of the semen samples, while a genetic analysis of the samples found that it was very unlikely that the virus invades testicular cells.

Despite these findings, the researchers acknowledge that the same may not be true for people who are severely ill with the virus.

Dr Hoteling explained: “It could be that a man who is critically ill with Covid-19 might have a higher viral load, which could lead to a greater likelihood of infecting the semen. We just don't have the answer to that right now.

“But knowing that we didn't find that kind of activity among the patients in this study who were recovering from mild to moderate forms of the disease is reassuring.”

Meanwhile, while coronavirus is not sexually transmitted, the disease can spread through kissing.

Speaking to Mirror Online, Dr Simran Deo, a UK-based doctor at Zava UK, urged Brits to avoid kissing and sharing food and drinks.

She explained: “Conditions like coronavirus are spread through water or mucus droplets from the nose and mouth containing the virus.

“So things like kissing, shaking hands and sharing food and drink with someone put people at increased risk of passing on the infection."

The article originally appeared in The Mirror

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