Government and Regulations

Ebola Virus Persists in Semen Long Term

Interesting data from a study by the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation found the Ebola virus present in the semen of survivors.


 

According to a study by the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the World Health Organization, and the CDC, fragments of Ebola virus have been found in semen 9 months after onset of symptoms. In the study, 93 men from Freetown, Sierra Leone, enrolled between 2 and 10 months after their illness began. Of 9 men who were tested in the first 3 months after initial symptoms, all were positive for Ebola virus. Of 40 who were tested between 4 and 6 months after onset, 26 (65%) were positive, as were 11 of 43 (26%) tested 7 to 9 months after onset.

Related: Ebola Virus in Semen Raises Possibility of Sexual Transmission

The researchers say it isn’t clear why some participants had cleared the virus earlier than others did. Until more is known, men who survive the Ebola virus are being counseled to get tested regularly and abstain from all types of sex or use condoms. The CDC is conducting further tests of the samples to determine whether the virus is live and potentially infectious.

Related: Novel Treatment for Ebola Virus

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