COVID-19 has forced countries to lockdown cities and entire regions as authorities try to stop the virus from spreading. Since coronavirus first emerged in China in December, it has gone on to kill 3,996 people.
Can you get coronavirus from sex?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the coronavirus is spread mainly from person-to-person especially when people are in close contact with one another.
Close contact is defined as being within six feet of each other.
The virus can contaminate others through respiratory droplets from when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic ie at their sickest.
There have been cases where the virus has spread before people have shown symptoms, but this is not thought to be the main way it spreads.
But what about when it comes to having sex?
We know the virus is present in respiratory droplets and because of this, countries like France have discouraged people from kissing on the cheek.
Kissing a significant other or sexual partner is, of course, more intimate than a kiss on the cheek.
The natural assumption is therefore that a snog with a person infected with coronavirus will likely leave you with COVID-19.
Kristin Englund, MD, of the department of infectious disease at the Cleveland Clinic, said: “At this point in time, we don’t know these specific details.”
It therefore makes sense kissing someone, either on the cheek or on the lips, could leave you with coronavirus as not only are you in close contact – as defined by the CDC – with someone, you’ve also swapped respiratory droplets.
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Is the coronavirus present in other bodily fluids?
We know COVID-19 is in respiratory droplets, but we don’t know for sure whether it’s in vaginal secretions or semen, says Dr Englund.
She said: “We really can’t make any statements about safety [of sexual activity] when we don’t have any data on it.”
If you want to stay healthy then it’s best not to get too close with anyone showing symptoms of the virus.
These include coughing, sneezing and having a fever. If you’re worried that a partner could be a carrier of the coronavirus but is not showing signs, postpone any sex sessions until you know their exact health status.
The COVID-19 outbreak doesn’t seem to have put people off having sex in China, where the illness originated and where there are more than 80,700 cases.
Reuters reported that sales for condoms have gone up in China.
Sales of condoms are so high there, they’re currently ranking as one of the more popular items purchased from e-commerce sites.