Credit CDC PHIL
Last August, Dr. Ian Mackay writing on his VDU Blog, posted Ebola virus in semen is the real deal...., which he followed up 10 days later with Ebola: Blood, sweat and tears, where Ian described the (somewhat limited) research to date on the level of EBOV detection in other body fluids – like tears, sweat and saliva.
Given how easily Ebola has spread these past few months in Africa – and all apparently via infected body fluids – the more we know about the risks, the better.
This week we’ve seen India isolate a man with Ebola-infected semen, more than six weeks after he was pronounced cured (Sept 30th) and released from a Liberian hospital. While this may provide additional data on the duration of viral shedding via semen, as a public health measure, many consider his isolation both excessive and unnecessary.
Ian M Mackay,Katherine E Arden
The Lancet Infectious Diseases - 19 November 2014
Semen is one of the body fluids from which Ebola virus disease can be contracted, presumably by delivery of the infectious virus to a mucosal surface. WHO notes that Ebola viruses can be transmitted via the semen of a man who is convalescing, for up to 7 weeks after recovery from an Ebola virus infection.1 The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control2 and Public Health Agency of Canada3 both report the 7 week figure, and the latter also refers to a period of 61 days. The United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases4 suggests a 3 month period, recommending that survivors avoid sexual contact.