Health

Ebola Survivors Told Not To Have Sex Indefinitely

| by Michael Allen

People who have survived the Ebola virus are being told not to have sex indefinitely, or to always use a condom, because of a new risk.

People who survived Ebola were previously told by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to wait for three months before engaging in sexual intercourse, reports Mashable.

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The CDC recently updated its guidelines to read:

"Scientists know that the Ebola virus can stay in semen even after recovery and are studying to determine if Ebola can be spread through sex. Because sexual transmission of Ebola cannot be ruled out, Ebola survivors should not have sex (oral, vaginal or anal) until more information becomes available. Those who do have sex should use a condom correctly and consistently every time they have sex."

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The World Health Organization and the Liberian government have recently made similar updated statements because of a possible new case.

According to The New York Times, "(A) Liberian man who recovered from Ebola might have transmitted the virus to his female partner many months later. Ebola genetic material was found in a semen sample the man provided 175 days after he developed symptoms, 74 days longer than ever before found in a survivor."

While available information appears to point to the sexual transmission of Ebola, it is not absolutely conclusive. CDC, WHO and the Sierra Leone's health ministry are planning to study Ebola survivors to see how long traces of Ebola last in the body after being eradicated from the blood.

Sources: CDC, Mashable, The New York Times
Image Credit: Nahid Bhadelia/CDC