Aug. 22, 2022 — The monkeypox virus can persist on household items, but it’s unclear if the virus can spread that way, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Two people who lived together in Utah tested positive for monkeypox in May, the CDC said. They showered twice a day, wiped down surfaces, washed their hands about 10 times a day, and took other precautions.
About 20 days after they began self-isolating, the Utah Department of Health and Human Services came to their home and took samples of 30 items from nine areas of the home, the CDC said.
Twenty-one samples gave positive real-time polymerase chain reaction results. The positive samples came from porous and non-porous surfaces, including a coffee machine, blankets, a computer mouse, light switches and chairs.
The researchers were unable to grow live monkeypox virus in the lab using the samples, the report said. Center for Infectious Disease Research and Politics at the University of Minnesota.
“The epidemiological data we have so far in this epidemic confirms that people do not contract monkeypox by touching contaminated surfaces,” said Michael Osterholm, director of CIDRAP. “The preponderance of data indicates that it is transmitted by direct physical contact, whether sexual or non-sexual.”
The CDC said cleaning and disinfecting practices “may have limited the level of contamination within the household.” Further studies are needed to determine whether monkeypox can be transmitted indirectly through surface contamination, according to the CDC.
People living in a home with someone infected with monkeypox or visiting such a home should wear a properly fitted mask, avoid touching surfaces, wash their hands, and avoid sharing cooking utensils, clothing, bedding or towels, the CDC says.
As of Monday, there were 14,115 confirmed cases in the United States and 41,358 confirmed cases worldwide, the CDC said. No deaths related to monkeypox have been reported.
Monkeypox is a smallpox-like disease that was first discovered in humans in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1970 and has become more common in West and Central Africa. More recently, it started spreading in Europe and other Western countries in May 2022.