The monkeypox virus can persist on many common household objects, although it is not yet clear whether this can spread the infection, according to a new government study.
Two monkeypox patients sharing a home reported disinfecting surfaces, washing their hands several times a day, and showering regularly. Researchers still found the virus in 70% of high-contact areas 20 days after their symptoms began, including on sofas, blankets, a coffee machine, a computer mouse and a light switch, the Centers said. for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States.
However, no live virus was detected on any of the objects or surfaces, suggesting that the risk of spreading infections is low. The CDC said cleaning and disinfecting practices may have limited the amount of contamination in the home.
The study sheds new light on the behavior of the monkeypox virus while raising questions. Monkeypox is mainly spread by direct contact with lesions or respiratory secretions during close and sustained contact with a sick person. More than 90% of monkeypox cases in the United States were associated with recent sexual contact between men, according to another CDC study.
The virus can also be spread through fluids or objects used by an infected person, but it is not yet known to what extent surface contamination contributes to indirect transmission of the virus, according to the study.
People visiting the home of someone with monkeypox should always protect themselves “by wearing a properly fitted mask, avoiding touching potentially contaminated surfaces, maintaining proper hand hygiene, avoiding sharing cooking utensils, clothing, bedding or towels and following home disinfection recommendations”. says the CDC.
Both patients had cases of monkeypox that were reported in May, according to the study. One of the people had injuries to his genitals, hands, chest, lips and scalp, while the other had injuries to his foot, leg and finger. They were both sick for about a month, according to the report.