In a now-deleted post, Chinese officials from the Hubei province, which was the former epicenter of the deadly coronavirus, claimed that it could “theoretically” damage male fertility. The post was shut down as officials refused to release an official statement on why the article has been removed.

However, it had already gone viral as the South China Morning Post wrote that male patients should immediately seek medical advice to check on their fertility. The report came from the Prof Li Yufeng and his team from the Reproductive Medicine Center at Tongji Hospital in Wuhan.

According to the article, while the virus targets a patient’s lungs and immune system, health professionals claimed that it also has the ability to impair male fertility.

The Center had been affiliated to Huazhong University of Science and Technology, which had become the front-runner in terms of treating coronavirus patients since the outbreak started.

While there had been no cases yet which have proven that the virus can indeed inflict damage on the male reproductive system, experts explained that the new stream of coronavirus named as SARS-CoV-2, possibly can.

The virus is usually transmitted through droplets in the air. It can go through either the nose, mouth, and eyes, As the virus enters the human body, it goes into the cells and causes tissue damage, which can increase protein in the cell membrane known as protein angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Aside from the lungs, ACE2 can be found in other internal organs, including the male testes. The virus can damage cells, which play an essential role in the male’s reproductive ability, including the germ cells and the Leydig cells.

Scientists further explained that the virus is similar to the one which had caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, as the article suggests that it can cause “impairment of immune homeostasis in the testes”. This means that it can trigger inflammation in the male testicles and decrease sperm count.

As of the moment, government officials refused to give a statement about the now-deleted article. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have listed 1,215 confirmed cases of coronavirus, which had resulted in 36 deaths and have extended to 43 states, which include the District of Columbia.

Despite the increasing number of cases, a former coronavirus patient, Jerri Jorgensen told “Fox & Friends” that “the hysteria has just gotten out of control.” The 65-year-old recounted her experience as one the people onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in which she experienced fever. While she might belong to the more vulnerable age group, Jorgensen shared how she was able to bounce back due to her active and physical lifestyle.