Researchers had concerns that COVID-19 could be sexually transmitted like Zika, Ebola, and other viral diseases.
Rabat – The University of Utah has argued that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) can not be sexually transmitted, based on an international clinical study of male virus carriers.
The study analyzed semen samples from 34 male subjects one month after they tested positive for COVID-19. Researchers examined the samples for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The researchers found no traces of SARS-CoV-2 in the samples and no evidence that COVID-19 can be sexually transmitted, determining that the chances of passing along the virus through sexual activity are “remote.”
However, intimate contact such as kissing increases the risk of transmitting the virus.
“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,” said Dr. James M. Hotaling, a co-author of the study.
“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,” added the urologist.
American and Chinese researchers launched the study over concerns that COVID-19 could be sexually transmitted like Zika, Ebola, and other viral diseases.
“If the virus is in the testes but not the sperm it can’t be sexually transmitted,” concluded Dr. Jingtao Guo, a scientist at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah.
Although the study may be refreshing news for some couples, researchers acknowledge that the findings have limitations. The study included carriers with mild to moderate symptoms, but none of the participating men had severe symptoms.
According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which can travel up to one meter after a carrier coughs or sneezes.