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Ebola Transmitted During Sex
Men who have survived and have largely rid their bodies of the deadly Ebola virus, can still pass it on to other human beings through sexual activity for some time after they recover, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in a new report.
The potential for male survivors to transmit the virus was discovered by the CDC in the West African nation of Liberia, where a man infected a woman through unprotected sex. After ruling out all other infection causes, officials said the pair had sex 199 days after the man first experienced Ebola symptoms.
It’s the first time since the virus was discovered in 1976 that officials believe a woman has been infected with Ebola during sex with a male survivor.
The 44-year-old woman in Monrovia, Liberia, started Ebola symptoms on March 14 — one week after she had intercourse with a male survivor, the report said. While health officials knew traces of the virus can remain in the human body after treatment, they were previously unaware it could remain so long in male seminal fluid.
The CDC had previously advised male survivors to abstain from sex completely or use a contraceptive for 90 days after recovery, since the virus had been found in semen up to 101 days after symptoms set in. But because it’s believed the woman was infected 199 days after her male partner first showed signs of Ebola, officials now believe that advice may not be enough.
Images courtesy of NBC News and Medscape. Content courtesy of UPI.