by Kolapo Olapoju
The World Health Organisation says sexual intercourse could keep the Ebola epidemic alive, as the disease could last for a long time in the semen.
A WHO release on Monday, 6 October, stated that, “In a convalescent male, the virus can persist in semen for at least 70 days; one study suggests persistence for more than 90 days.”
Peter Piot, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a discoverer of Ebola in 1976, while speaking at a news conference in Geneva, said survivors should not have sex for 3 months after recovery.
He said, “Certainly, the advice has to be for survivors to use a condom, to not have unprotected sex, for 90 days. If we would apply the rule for double the time, that would be 180 days. I think it (90 days) is probably a compromise, for practicality.”
Meanwhile, the apex world health body is expected to announce later this week that Nigeria and Senegal are free of Ebola after 42 days of no infections recorded. The 42-days is the standard period for declaring an outbreak over.
Over 3,400 people have died in the world’s worst Ebola outbreak on record, the vast majority of them in three West African countries: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The virus recently made its way into the United States, and in Spain, five persons have been placed under quarantine, after showing symptoms.