Coronavirus found in unlikeliest of places - semen

Doctors took the semen samples and tested them for traces of Sars-Cov-2.

Sperm (illustrative) (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Sperm (illustrative)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
A small study done in a hospital near the epicenter of this year's pandemic outbreak found the presence of the Sars-Cov-2, the COVID-19 causing virus, in a notably questionable place – semen, which due to the nature of the discovery, leaves many to ask some questions  - however big or small. 
A team at the Shangqiu Municipal Hospital in China intended to analyze semen for signs of Sars-Cov-2. In order to do so, hospital doctors identified 50 male patients being treated for COVID-19 between the dates of January 26 and February 16, 2020.
Of those 50 patients however, 12 patients were unable to provide a sample – some due to erectile dysfunction, others as they were in an unconscious state and the remainder of the 12 having passed away before recruitment for the study began.
The remaining 38 able to provide samples were in different stages of recovery. Among the able group, 23 (60.5%) were within days of having recovered from the disease, while the other 15 (39.5%) were at the acute stage of infection. Doctors took the samples and tested them for traces of Sars-Cov-2.
Altogether, scientists found viable traces in six of the 38 patients. Among the recovered patients, two (8.7%) were found to have traces of Sars-Cov-2 in their semen compared to four out of the 15 (26.7%) sick. 
The study, published in May on the JAMA Network, notes that it is limited in its size, and further studies are needed to prove its viability, however it does pave the way to further areas of study regarding the transmission and effects of the virus. Researchers even noted the need for studies monitoring fetal development as an idea, the potential for infertility or the ability to transmit the virus sexually through semen.
It's important to note that although the researchers detected genetic material from SARS-CoV-2 in semen, the study does not prove that these virus particles are "viable," or capable of transmitting infection, according to The New York Times.
"This is an interesting finding, but it must be confirmed that there is infectious virus – not just a virus product in the semen," Dr. Stanley Perlman, a professor of microbiology, immunology and pediatrics at the University of Iowa, who was not involved in the study, told the Times.