Compliments of Time Gazette
Health officials believe that survivors of Ebola can spread the virus through having unprotected sex up to twice as long as was previously believed. Officials are telling male survivors of Ebola to avoid any unprotected sex for an indefinite period. Scientist thought the virus could remain for three months in the semen of an infected person. However, recently a case took place in West Africa that suggests infection through unprotected sex could happen for up to five months or longer.
Using that case as an example, officials are telling male survivors of Ebola to avoid any unprotected sex for an indefinite period. The officials said that they previously had advised that the men wore condoms for up to three months.
On Friday, a report was released that detailed the case of a Liberian woman who was 44 and whose infection is likely to have come from a man who is 46 and who had symptoms of Ebola in September of 2014.
She became ill during March in just a week following sex with the man and died. Another woman that he had sex with close to the same time was tested and her results were negative.
The virus spreads via direct contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of an Ebola patient, such as saliva, urine, sweat or semen.
Once a patient recovers, health officials have said they are not contagious except there remains a chance it remains in the semen.
Investigations of recent cases of Ebola in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have pointed toward sexual transmission from Ebola survivors, but there has been no confirmation on those cases.
However, there have been less than 10 of these cases, said a Center for Disease Control spokesperson. It has been difficult pin pointing that sexual relations was the only way that they might have been infected with the virus.
In Guinea the national coordinator for responding to Ebola, said one woman in Macenta a town in the southeast had contracted Ebola following sex that was unprotected with her husband.