Bad news for everyone who’s suffered from Ebola: The CDC has released new guidelines for survivors to follow when having sex. They’re asking anyone who’s had the virus to either stop having sex immediately or, for the sake of others, please make sure to wear a condom. Indefinitely. Sorry.
The guidelines come after a new discovery that Ebola can live in semen much longer than anticipated, making it possible to transmit the disease through sexual contact. From Mashable:
The changes were prompted by evidence that pointed to the possibility that a Liberian man passed the disease to his female sexual partner months after he had recovered from Ebola, according to WHO spokesperson Daniel Epstein.
Ebola found in a semen sample taken from the man 175 days after he tested negative partially matched the genetic material of the virus found on the woman, Ruth Tugbah, who later died from the disease. Before now, the longest period of time the virus was detected in semen was 101 days.
The World Health Organization will hold a meeting this week to discuss how to continue handling the lessening epidemic. Governments are being advised to stay sensitive to the needs of survivors and be aware of the stigmatization that this new discovery could bring.
Until then, the CDC’s advising anyone who’s had the illness to abstain from sex until further information is available, which could be two, even three thousand years from now.