A new study suggests that coronavirus may be able to persist in male semen for a prolonged period of time. After testing 38 males at the Shanqui Municipal Hospital in China between January and February at the height of the countries infection rate, CNN reports that the journal JAMA Network Open cited that around 16 percent of patients came back with traces of the virus in their semen.
"We found that SARS-CoV-2 can be present in the semen of patients with COVID-19, and SARS-CoV-2 may still be detected in the semen of recovering patients," Diangeng Li of Chinese People's Liberation Army General Hospital in Beijing and collegaues wrote. "Even if the virus cannot replicate in the male reproductive system, it may persist, possibly resulting from the privileged immunity of testes."
It's worth noting that this isn't that rare of a finding as well. Both Ebola and Zika viruses were also seen to be able to spread through semen, and it is still not yet clear with coronavirus will be able to do the same. While sexual transmission has yet to be seen, the Beijing team still cautioned preventative measures.
"Abstinence or condom use might be considered as preventive means for these patients," the team reported. "In addition, it is worth noting that there is a need for studies monitoring fetal development. Therefore, to avoid contact with the patient's saliva and blood may not be enough, since the survival of SARS-CoV-2 in a recovering patient's semen maintains the likelihood to infect others."
Despite this, the results of these findings were delivered during a time when China was facing much more dire conditions. Now, Shanghai's Disneyland is set to reopen on May 11, and tickets sold out within minutes with people anxious for the opportunity to go back to the Magic Kingdom.