Researchers have detected the coronavirus in the semen of both infected and recently recovered patients, just like it was with Ebola virus.
The findings were published May 7 in the journal JAMA Network Open.
The presence of virus in the semen is a new dimension in the knowledge scientists are building up since last December, when the virus surfaced in Wuhan China.
Now scientists know that after the virus enters the human body, no place is sacrosanct anymore.
Apart from the lungs, it reaches the kidneys, heart, liver and gastrointestinal tract and now the reproductive organ.
The scientists however said it is not clear if the virus can be sexually transmitted through contact with semen or whether the virus in semen are viable enough for that.
The study in Shangqiu, China, involved 38 young men who had tested positive for COVID-19 .
Some of them were experiencing symptoms of the disease, while some had recently recovered.
Participants provided semen samples, which doctors analysed for the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The researchers detected SARS-CoV-2 in sperm from six participants, or 16% overall.
Of these, four patients were currently experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, and two patients had recently recovered.
“This is an interesting finding, but it must be confirmed that there is infectious virus — not just a virus product in the semen,” Dr. Stanley Perlman, a professor of microbiology, immunology and paediatrics at the University of Iowa, who was not involved in the study, told the New York Times.
In addition, it’s unclear how long the virus lingers in semen, given that participants in the study were still showing symptoms of COVID-19 or had only recently recovered, two or three days before.