My Struggle to Report on Ebola Without Provoking Panic—or Complacency

In West Africa, Journalists Have to Sift Fact from Rumor About Links Between the Deadly Virus and Sex

Most of us think we know what a sexually transmitted disease is: syphilis, gonorrhea, HIV, or herpes—all diseases that are spread mainly through sexual contact. But in November 2017, CDC researchers published the results of a search of the medical literature that showed that at least 27 different viruses can be found in semen, including Zika, which is primarily spread by mosquito bites.

It’s not known how many of these viruses are sexually transmittable, but it is already clear that Zika and Ebola are. Marburg (which is similar to Ebola), …