Coronavirus survivors should wait 30 days before having sex again, according to health officials in Thailand

Crystal Cox/Business Insider

Coronavirus survivors in Thailand are being told the should wait at least 30 days after recovering from the virus until they have sex or kiss again.

Veerawat Manosutthi, a senior medical expert at the Thai Disease Control Department, cited a Chinese study warning that semen may carry the coronavirus, Thai news outlet Khaosod English reported.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medicine Association, took semen samples from 38 male COVID-19 patients in a hospital in China's Henan province, which borders Wuhan, between January 26 and February 16. Advertisement

The researchers found that 16% of the men surveyed had traces of the virus in their semen.

Though researchers said they are not yet sure whether the coronavirus can be sexually-transmitted, people should still take precautions as other non-sexually transmitted illnesses like Zika and Ebola have been shown to spread through sex in the past.

"The presence of viruses in semen may be more common than currently understood, and traditional non-sexually transmitted viruses should not be assumed to be totally absent in genital secretions," the researchers wrote.
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The novel coronavirus is primarily spread through saliva droplets, but it is not yet clear if the virus can replicate in the testicles. According to the JAMA study, it could be that traces of the virus were found in semen because of the imperfect barrier between the bloodstream and part of the testicles where semen is made, so the virus may have made it's way from the blood into the semen.

Manosutthi said even after the 30 days, people who have recovered from the virus should wear a condom when they start being sexually active again. As of May 14, Thailand reported 3,018 cases of coronavirus, 56 deaths, and 2,850 recoveries according to Bing's interactive coronavirus map. Advertisement

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