(HealthDay News) — Men who survive Ebola should wear condoms during sex for at least three months after recovering from the disease, according to the authors of a new study published online December 16 in Reproductive Sciences.

“Our exercise demonstrated that the current recommendations to prevent the sexual spread of Ebola are based on one mere observation,” the researchers write. “Despite the evident need to conduct more research, for now, health care professionals should strongly recommend sexual abstinence or condom-protected encounters for at least three months.”

The investigators examined research on male Ebola survivors that was conducted between 1977–2007 and found only four studies that contained information about the men’s semen. Those four studies showed that the Ebola virus persisted in semen for an average of more than 66 days. In one man, the virus lasted for 91 days.

“The current Ebola virus disease outbreak is the longest and largest we have ever seen. Nonetheless, our results clearly demonstrate how much we ignore about it. Larger studies are needed to establish the social, clinical, and biological determinants of this neglected disease,” the researchers conclude.

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