Mpox viruses stay on surfaces for days 2023


A study found that domestic and hospital surfaces can harbor Mpox (previously monkeypox) viruses for days, increasing the risk of dissemination.

Since 2022, human-to-human monkeypox transmission has increased. Physical touch causes most infections. The virus’s surface stability was unknown.

“Smallpox viruses are notorious for their ability to remain infectious in the environment for a very long time,” said Toni Meister from Ruhr University Bochum’s Department for Molecular and Medical Virology.

The researchers applied the virus to sanitized stainless steel plates and stored them at four, 22, and 37 degrees in the Journal of Infectious Diseases paper.

They measured infectious viruses after 15 minutes, days, and weeks.

The first few days saw minimal change in infectious virus regardless of temperature. Five days later, virus concentration reduced considerably at 22 and 37 degrees.

After six to seven days at 37 degrees, no virus could reproduce; at 22 degrees, it took ten to eleven days. At four degrees, the virus only reduced dramatically after 20 days, and after 30 days there was no risk of infection.

“This is consistent with our experience that people can still contract monkeypox from household surfaces after almost two weeks,” says Professor Eike Steinmann, Head of the Department for Molecular and Medical Virology.

Disinfecting surfaces is crucial to preventing outbreaks. The researchers examined five typical disinfectants to determine their efficacy.

Alcohol- or aldehyde-based disinfectants consistently lowered infection risk. In the study, a hydrogen peroxide disinfectant didn’t kill the virus.

“Our results support the WHO’s recommendation to use alcohol-based surface disinfectants,” Meister added.

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