There are a variety of diseases that can be transmitted to you or your partner, but can you get the coronavirus from having sex? COVID-19 — the abbreviation for “coronavirus disease 2019” — is a novel (or new) strain of coronavirus that was first discovered when it started to spread late 2019 in Wuhan, China. Since then, the virus has spread worldwide.
In this article, we will be discussing how the coronavirus is transmitted, the myths surrounding the virus, and what practices will help keep you healthy.
How is Coronavirus Transmitted?
Generally, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), contracting this virus requires being less than 6 feet away from an infected person, exposure to droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or touching infected surfaces and then touching your eyes or face.
This virus is most contagious when people have symptoms, but infected people without symptoms can spread the virus, too. This quality is part of what makes it spread so quickly. Symptoms of this illness include shortness of breath, fever and cough.
Can You Get Coronavirus from Having Sex?
Much is still unknown about how COVID-19 can be transmitted, and that includes whether you can get coronavirus from having sex. While recent studies have found the coronavirus in semen of male patients, these studies have been small and further research is still needed to better understand these findings. Currently, there are no known cases that have been spread from sex, specifically, but close contact with someone who is infected with coronavirus can significantly increase your chances of catching the disease. The virus has also been found in fecal matter, so it is possible that rimming could spread the virus.
Can You Get Coronavirus from Kissing?
Since the coronavirus can be transmitted via proximity and respiratory droplets, it is possible to contract this virus from kissing. Whether it’s directly from kissing someone or simply touching their face, physical contact with another person encourages the sharing of bacteria and viruses, including COVID-19. Sneezing and coughing also increase the likelihood that an infected person may spread the viral particles.
Just as scientific news of the coronavirus has spread, so have myths that could cause you or others more harm than good. Below is a list of misunderstandings surrounding the coronavirus that should be critically reviewed:
Many people have tried to protect themselves from the virus by wearing medical masks. While COVID-19 is contagious and can be spread by coughing and sneezing, wearing these masks does not protect you from the virus. In fact, the World Health Organization and the CDC do not recommend that healthy individuals wear medical masks, instead recommending masks be reserved for those who already have the virus and could spread it to others.
If your doctor does tell you to wear a mask, please follow the instructions very carefully; many people misuse the masks by touching the front of the masks, throwing them away improperly or wearing them incorrectly.
Using Vodka to Sanitize Hands
Hollywood movies show wounded heroes sanitizing their wounds with vodka or other liquors, but pouring alcohol intended for drinking onto your skin is ineffective for killing germs and can irritate skin and mucous membranes. In addition, most vodka and other liquors don’t have enough alcohol content to be effective (the CDC recommends hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol).
Alcohol also does not get rid of viruses that have already entered your system, so save your vodka for your next cocktail party. And as always, drink responsibly.
Age Groups at Risk
It is a common misunderstanding that COVID-19 only affects senior citizens. While the elderly are at an increased risk for developing complications from an infection, people of any age can contract this virus. Individuals with pre-existing conditions such as lung and heart diseases or who are immunocompromised are also at risk of developing a severe infection.
The Death Rate
COVID-19 is indeed very contagious, and there have been deaths caused by the virus. However, as of March 21, 2020, only 4.3% of the global infection has resulted in death, as reported by the WHO. Additionally, this percentage may not include the individuals with more mild symptoms which did not warrant a trip to the doctor.
Effect of Hot and Cold Weather
Although some people think hot or cold weather will reduce the spread of COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes that there are no scientific data that point towards any effect of weather on this virus.
Even though there are many myths about this new strain of coronavirus, there are steps that you can take which will legitimately decrease the risk of transmission.
How to Protect Yourself from Coronavirus
While this virus appears to be relatively easy to transmit, the WHO explains that there are a variety of different methods of hygiene and sanitization which can help reduce the risk of transmission:
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap, especially after using the bathroom or before eating.
- Avoid touching your face, nose and mouth.
- Cover your sneezes and coughs with a tissue (then throw it away!) or direct them into the bend of your elbow.
- Disinfect frequently-used surfaces (like doorknobs, light switches, and tables) with dilute bleach or products listed by the Environmental Protection Agency as being effective against COVID-19.
Other Tips & Advice
- Avoid people who you know have contracted the disease.
- Stay home if you feel sick.
- Avoid contact with other people as recommended by your local government and health authorities.
- Follow CDC guidelines on domestic and international travel.
- Stay updated on the latest information related to COVID-19, including how it may be impacting your local area.
By following these tips, you will be taking the necessary steps to decrease exposure to the virus and prevent future outbreaks.
How to Treat Coronavirus
While preventing illness is preferable, it is not always possible. Though there can be stigma around catching coronavirus, there is nothing to be ashamed of. If you suspect that you have COVID-19, the best thing you can do is seek testing from a medical professional, especially if you have a fever or any trouble breathing. COVID-19 testing is simple and requires a swab from the inside of your nose.
It is usually recommended that you contact your medical provider over the phone or virtually before visiting their office, as your doctor may point you in the direction of clinics or hospitals in your area that are better prepared to treat cases of COVID-19.
Restricting travel and social activity also play an important role in preventing the spread of the virus to others, so carefully follow the advice of your medical care team. You may be required to stay inside your home until your condition improves and you are no longer contagious.
If you must be around others, such as family or caregivers, it is recommended that you wear a medical mask to prevent spreading the disease to those around you.
Because our understanding of COVID-19 is still developing, so are our methods for treating the virus. If you’ve come into contact with coronavirus, talk to your doctor for the most updated information.