Male Ebola Survivors Should Use Condoms to Prevent Infection Through Sex

0
875

 

Those who survive Ebola need to use condoms to stem its spread, said health officials, after a Liberian woman was infected. She contracted the disease due to "unprotected sex with a survivor".

Hence, the virus seems to be surviving in semen for longer periods of time, according to rt.

She was in Liberia's capital Monrovia, aged 44, and by mid-March, one month after the last confirmed patient in Liberia was identified and isolated, she contracted the disease, the CDC reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a report Friday that "contact with semen from male survivors should be avoided" until researchers find out for how long the Ebola virus remains in the semen.

"Based on information gathered in this investigation, CDC now recommends that contact with semen from male Ebola survivors be avoided until more information regarding the duration and infectiousness of viral shedding in body fluids is known," the report urged.

"If male survivors have sex (oral, vaginal, or anal), a condom should be used correctly and consistently every time."

Although it cannot be said for certain that the woman caught Ebola through sex with the man, the symptoms show the possibility, according to livescience. 

She had not travelled out of the country or interacted with visitors from other ebola-affected countries such as Sierra Leone or Guinea. As she had also not contacted victims of Ebola nor had met anyone else with the symptoms, it was baffling how she had got the disease.

She did, however, "report unprotected vaginal intercourse" with a 46-year old man from a different community in Monrovia. He had survived Ebola last year. He had left hospital on October 7, 2014, and "reported no subsequent illness or symptoms." But even 200 days after his likely Ebola onset he had transmitted the virus to the woman.

Earlier, it had been thought that Ebola virus would remain in the semen for 82 days, and viral RNA for up to 101 days, after the symptoms become apparent.

"The investigation identified only one epidemiologic link to Ebola: unprotected vaginal intercourse with a survivor," the report said.

CDC said that research is trying to see how long the virus can remain in the body fluids of survivors. Till it is known, condoms should be used, urges CDC .

Leave a Reply