Switzerland: Sexual transmission of Ebola not documented, but...... - WHO

Geneva, Switzerland (PANA) - The World Health Organization (WHO) has said though sexual transmission of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has not yet been documented, men who have recovered from EVD should be aware that seminal fluid may be infectious for as long as three months after onset of symptoms.

''Because of the potential to transmit the virus sexually during this time, they should maintain good personal hygiene after masturbation, and either abstain from sex (including oral sex) for three months after onset of symptoms, or use condoms if abstinence is not possible,'' the global health body said in a dispatch from here Friday.

WHO, however, said it does not recommend isolation of male convalescent patients whose blood has been tested negative for EVD.

It said in four studies that investigated persistence of Ebola virus in seminal fluid from convalescent patients (a total of 43 patients), three men who had recovered from Ebola virus disease were reported to shed live virus in semen 40 days, 61 days and 82 days after onset of symptoms, respectively.

In two studies, Ebola virus was isolated from semen, but subsequent infections were not identified in household contacts.

The Ebola virus is shed in bodily fluids such as blood, vomit, faeces, saliva, urine, tears, and vaginal and seminal fluids.

''Although the scientific evidence is limited, it is clear that semen is a potential source of infection and could therefore cause transmission of the virus through delivery of the infectious virus on a mucosal surface,'' WHO said.

PANA reports that concerns about the possible modes of transmission of the EVD has heightened since the current outbreak, which has killed more than 5,500 people mostly in three West African States of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
-0- PANA SEG 28Nov2014

28 november 2014 12:22:24

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