Ebola Lives in Sperm

Ebola
In the most recent news regarding the Ebola virus, it was concluded that the virus can live in sperm for up to three months. The World Health Organization has found that Ebola has the ability to remain in male sperm for up to 82 days. Men should try to refrain from having sex and should be very cautious if and when they masturbate, the organization recommends.

There have been four separate case studies done so far to determine the length of time that the Ebola virus can live in a man’s sperm. These studies span out over the last 30 years. The first case study was a man who had contacted the virus back in 1977. He got the virus from a contaminated needle at a lab in England the previous year. The man did not live.

The second study was a man who contacted the Ebola virus in the Republic of the Congo in 1995. If was found that Ebola was able to live in the man’s sperm for 82 days during this study. During this outbreak, the city of Congo lost almost all of their inhabitants. 250 out of 315 citizens of the city would die from the Ebola virus.

The third case study was done in 2000 in Uganda. Researchers found that the Ebola virus remained in the man’s sperm for 40 days after the onset of the disease. The disease would come to claim almost half of the Ugandan people, 324 out of 425 people in the surrounding districts.

The fourth and most recent study, a 26-year-old man from India, returned to New Delhi from Liberia and was quarantined to check for symptoms of the virus. Authorities carried out tests on his bodily fluids to be sure that he was free of the virus. They found that the virus was still living in his sperm at 82 days. He remained in quarantine until he had no symptoms or traces of the virus.

According to the World Health Organization, there have been no recorded cases of the virus actually being spread through sperm. For preventative measures, they still recommend to use precaution since the Ebola virus can live in sperm and they do not want people to take any chances since they cannot guarantee that the virus cannot be transferred through sexual intercourse. The virus can be spread through other body fluids as well, including, feces, blood, and urine.

Since its first appearance in 1976, there have been 15 separate outbreaks of the Ebola virus in different parts of the World. In the most current outbreak, there have been over 16,000 documented cases of people who have contacted the virus. According to the United Nations Health Agency, 6,928 of those individual cases have resulted in death. All of the recorded cases and all but 15 deaths have occurred in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. In the last week and a half alone, there have been 600 newly documented cases of individuals contacting the virus in these three countries.

With death tolls on the rise, researchers and scientists are doing all that they can to move forward with the Ebola vaccine that will be used to combat the virus. Until then, people should do all that they can to be sure that they are taking preventative measures against the virus. Since the Ebola virus can live in sperm for such a long period of time, it is important to refrain from coming into direct contact with any body fluids from those individuals who have or could possibly have the highly contagious disease.

By Kelli Patterson

Sources:
CNN
Daily Times
Daily Mail UK
International Business Times
CDC
Photo courtesy of Iqbal Osman’s Flickr Page- Flickr License

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