Can COVID-19 be sexually transmitted?

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – In February at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan, China, some semen samples were collected from dozens of men who were infected by the virus.

It was through a collaboration of medical and research professionals that included Dr. James Hotaling, an Associate of Professor of Surgery at the University of Utah in its Division of Urology.

“They looked at them on average of 30 days after they recovered,” said Dr. Hotaling. “They looked at the semen samples of about 38 of them. They found that there was no evidence of COVID in any of those semen samples.”

The male patients included in this study only showed mild to moderate symptoms of the disease.

In another study, Dr. Hotaling explains medical researchers looked at another set of patients.

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“The other study is a smaller hospital,” he said. “I think it’s possibly a military hospital in the same area of China that looked at a group of 50 patients who were quite sick. Twelve of them actually were either comatose or dead. They looked at 38 of those patients. They found that six of them had COVID in their semen. Of the six, four of them were actually hospitalized when they collected the sample.”

The doctors says the answer on whether or not COVID-19 can be sexually transmitted depends on the question you want answered.

“Do you want to answer when you recover from this horrible virus are you going to pass it on through your semen? Our study would say no. If you are having those relations with people when you’re quite sick, you may pass it on through semen. At least that’s what their study would say.”

Dr. Hotaling says if you are being intimate with someone who is very sick with COVID-19, more than likely you would catch it anyway through breathing it in from the infected person.

As of right now, there don’t appear to be any medical studies on this same issue with women.

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