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Home / News / World /  Monkeypox update: Virus can linger on common household items, says CDC study

Monkeypox update: Virus can linger on common household items, says CDC study

A colorised transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox shows infection particles (red) within an infected cell (blue). (HT_PRINT)Premium
A colorised transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox shows infection particles (red) within an infected cell (blue). (HT_PRINT)

Despite disinfecting surfaces, washing their hands several times a day and showered regularly, the researchers found that the room of two monkeypox patients sharing a home had virus on 70% of high-contact areas 20 days after their symptoms began, including on couches, blankets, a coffee machine, computer mouse and light switch.

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The monkeypox virus can linger on many common household objects, however, it’s not yet clear if that can spread the infection, says a new study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Despite disinfecting surfaces, washing their hands several times a day and showered regularly, the researchers found that the room of two monkeypox patients sharing a home had virus on 70% of high-contact areas 20 days after their symptoms began, including on couches, blankets, a coffee machine, computer mouse and light switch, reported Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, no live virus was detected on any of the items or surfaces, suggesting the risk infections could spread is low. The cleaning and disinfection practices may have limited the amount of contamination in the home, says CDC.

ALSO READ: Monkeypox symptoms on skin: Man shows how rashes changed day by day

The new study by CDC not only reveals new light on the behavior of the monkeypox virus but also raises questions. The reason being monkeypox primarily spreads through direct contact with lesions or respiratory secretions during sustained close contact with someone who is sick. As per CDC study, over 90% of monkeypox cases in the US were associated with recent male-to-male sexual contact.

The study further says that the virus can also spread through fluids or objects used by an infected person. However, it’s not yet clear how much some surface contamination contributes to indirect transmission of the virus, it added.

Suggesting people to take precautions, CDC said, "People visiting the home of someone with monkeypox should still protect themselves by wearing a well-fitting mask, avoiding touching possibly contaminated surfaces, maintaining appropriate hand hygiene, avoiding sharing eating utensils, clothing, bedding, or towels and following home disinfection recommendations."

According to the report, both patients had cases of monkeypox that were reported in May. One of them had lesions on the genitals, hands, chest, lips and scalp, while the other had lesions on the foot, leg and finger. They were both sick for about a month.

With Bloomberg inputs. 

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