The deadly Ebola virus may be transmitted through sex long after a person has been cured, a major finding that could change how the virus is combated.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigators looked into the case of a Monrovia, Liberia, woman who contracted the disease. The agency identified only one link to Ebola: unprotected sex with an Ebola survivor who was not presenting symptoms.
Ebola can only be passed through contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person showing symptoms. But health officials have been aware of another problem: The virus can remain in semen for nearly half a year after symptoms emerge, even after the patient has fully recovered. A survivor could still potentially infect a sexual partner with the virus, which appears to have happened in Monrovia in March, when the woman in question had sexual relations with a man who had been discharged the previous October.