Everything You Need To Know About The Coronavirus And Sex

Research is still emerging, but here's what we know so far.

Zachary Zane |

As the novel coronavirus spreads across the globe, with new reported cases emerging by the day, it’s important to know how to keep yourself safe. Which means you might have found yourself wondering…can COVID-19 be spread through sex?

Related: Here’s Why Men Are Hit Harder By The New Coronavirus

While researchers are still studying how, exactly, the virus spreads, let’s review what we know so far. Here’s what Dr. Keith Roach, an internist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, previously told Men’s Health staff:

Although there are not data for COVID-19, other coronaviruses have been shown to persist as long as 9 days on glass, metal, or plastic in the worst case, with a very large amount of virus inoculated. Packaged goods from China are very unlikely to have infectious particles due to long shipping times and reduced virus infectivity on paper.

COVID-19 can be spread from infected surfaces, so keeping hands washed (or frequently using alcohol-based sanitizer) and being careful not to put your hands to your face will help reduce infection. However, the major risk is person-to-person through droplets from a cough or sneeze.

That last line is important when it comes to talking about the coronavirus and sex. The virus is transmitted when droplets containing viral particles travel from one person’s mouth to another’s. That can happen through coughing, sneezing, and—as the New York Times reports—through kissing. You’re literally swapping spit. Even if you’re not making out with your partner, being in close proximity to them could potentially spread the virus.

Related: Here Are The Coronavirus Symptoms You Need to Monitor

It’s still too early to tell if COVID-19 can be transmitted through other sex acts, but other coronaviruses generally aren’t sexually transmitted, the Times reports, citing the World Health Organization (WHO).

The novel coronavirus has spread to at least 182  countries, according to the worldometers.info, As of March 20, there have been over 148,081 cases globally (up from 125,060 nine days ago) and more than 10,000 deaths.

This article originally appeared on menshealth.com

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