Ebola Virus Persists in Semen Far Longer than Thought, Study Finds
The Ebola virus can hide itself in the testicles of men who’ve survived the disease for far longer than had been previously thought, a new study suggests.
In fact, the research reports on a man who was still emitting fragments of Ebola viruses in his semen 565 days after he became ill — or 18 months.
Previous studies had suggested the longest men emitted Ebola virus fragments was nine months.
The work, published Tuesday in the journal Lancet Global Health, was done by scientists from the Liberian Ministry of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization.
The findings come from Liberia’s Men’s Health Screening Program, set up to test male survivors of Ebola to see if they are still emitting virus in their semen and could potentially infect a sexual partner.
After it became apparent some people in the West African Ebola outbreak were being infected through sex, the WHO advised that male survivors be tested so they would know their status. It advises abstinence or the use of condoms until a man has twice tested negative for the virus.
The researchers reported on results from 429 participants in the program, 38 of whom tested positive at least once for traces of Ebola in their semen.
That ratio — 9 percent — is a bit deceptive. Dr. Mary Choi, one of the lead authors of the article, said the program was only established in July of 2015, six or seven months after the peak of Liberia’s outbreak… Read More>>