Chinese scientists detected coronaviruses in the semen of men infected with the virus, but whether Covid-19 can be sexually transmitted is still unknown, according to research published Thursday.
The study, released by the medical journal JAMA Network Open, is based on a small number of patients from a hospital in China.
The new coronavirus is spread through respiratory droplets or direct contact, and the virus has also been detected in saliva, urine, and stool.
Researchers at the Shangqiu Municipal Hospital in China’s Henan Province carried out this work to determine if the virus was found in the semen.
The tests were performed on the semen of 38 patients with coronavirus, with ages ranging from 15 years to 50 years.
The genetic material of the virus was found in the semen of six of these patients. Within this group, four were in the “acute stage of infection”, and the other two were “recovering”.
The authors stressed that the study was “limited by the small sample size” of patients and that further research is required to determine if the disease can be sexually transmitted.
“If it could be proven that SARS-CoV-2 can be sexually transmitted in future studies, the sexual transmission could be a crucial part of prevention, ” they wrote in their research report.
” (Sexual) withdrawal or condom use can be considered as a preventive measure for these patients,” they added.