Unless you’ve been doing a digital detox for the last five months (unlikely… it is 2020,) you’d be well aware of the main ways COVID-19 is spread: respiratory droplets via talking, coughing, sneezing and close physical contact. Because of this, no-strings sex is totally off the table (who wants to swap spit with a stranger during a global pandemic?)
WATCH: how to prevent the spread of coronavirus...
If this new study is anything to go by, however, semen may also transmit the disease. Meaning couples – even asymptomatic ones – might want to keep it in their pants for a while…
Researchers recruited 38 patients aged 15-59, who were all undergoing treatment for coronavirus at Shangqui Municipal Hospital in Henan province. 15 of these participants provided a semen sample during the peak of their illness, and 23 followed suit soon after recovering. Interestingly, the viruses genetic code (RNA) was found in the semen in four of the patients in the first group and two in the latter. Still, this doesn’t necessarily mean they were contagious.
“The presence of viral RNA in the patients’ semen does not necessarily indicate the presence of infectious virus,” an article on The Conversation explains. “So it will be critical to show whether infectious virus can also be isolated from the semen of SARS-CoV-2 patients and survivors.”
Dr Stanley Perlman, professor of microbiology, immunology and paediatrics at the University of Iowa, concurs. In an interview with the New York Times he said: “This is an interesting finding, but it must be confirmed that there is infectious virus – not just a virus product in the semen.”
Bottom line? More research is needed to conclusively say whether or not sex spreads COVID-19. Still, being over-cautious is key.
“Abstinence or condom use might be considered as preventative means for these patients,” the authors stated.
Wrap it before you tap it, folks!
RELATED: How To Save Your Sex Life During Isolation