Ebola virus can persist in survivor’s semen for nine months

Live Ebola virus can persist in the semen of some survivors for at least nine months, according to preliminary results of a study published on Wednesday.Previously, Ebola has been detected in the semen of men after their recovery but little information is available about the duration of its persistence in that body fluid, according to Xinhua.

More than half of men who were tested between four to six months after their illness began were positive, while one quarter of those tested between seven to nine months after their illness began also tested positive.Why some study participants had cleared the fragments of Ebola virus from semen earlier than others remains unclear.

This study provides further evidence that survivors need continued, substantial support for the next six to 12 months to meet these challenges and to ensure their partners are not exposed to potential virus.

The study was jointly conducted by the Sierra Leone ministry of health and sanitation, Sierra Leone ministry of defence, the World Health Organisation and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.