In some rare good news about COVID-19, researchers at the University of Utah say it’s unlikely the virus can be transmitted through semen.
Of course, it can be spread through kissing and other close contact — as well as rimming — which is why health experts have advised against hooking up during the outbreak.
Nevertheless, the results of the UofU study could have positive long-term implications.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports: Other similar airborne pathogens, such as Ebola or Zika, have also been contracted through sex. That can dramatically increase the rate of contagion, particularly among people who don’t show symptoms. And it has had medical professionals particularly concerned during this outbreak. “If a disease like COVID-19 were sexually transmittable, that would have major implications for disease prevention,” said one of the U. researchers, James Hotaling, who specializes in male urology. Hotaling and Jingtao Guo at the U. participated in an international study with other scientists, including some from Cornell and Columbia universities, that examined the virus by testing the semen and testes of men who had contracted it. The subjects were 34 adult men in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak first started, ranging in age from 18 to 55. All had tested positive for the virus at least two months before the study. None of the samples, though, carried any trace of the disease.
The article notes that none of the subjects had severe cases of COVID-19, and additional research is still needed. Another recent study found no trace of the virus in vaginal fluid, either.