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Study shows monkeypox virus can stay on common household items: US govt

 A new study on monkeypox suggests that the virus can linger on many common household objects for several days despite regular disinfecting.

The monkeypox virus can linger on many common household objects. (Representative image)

A new study on monkeypox by the US disease control body Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that the virus can linger on many common household objects for several days despite regular disinfecting. However, it’s not yet clear if that can spread the infection.

For this study, a home shared by two monkeypox patients was taken up as sample. They said that they disinfected surfaces, washed their hands several times a day and showered regularly.

According to the CDC, researchers found the virus on 70 per cent of high-contact areas 20 days after their symptoms began. The virus was found on couches, blankets, a coffee machine, computer mouse and light switch.

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

Both patients had cases of monkeypox that were reported in May, according to the study. One of the people 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, according the report.

The CDC suggested that people visiting the home of someone with monkeypox should 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.

The virus transmits when a person comes in contact with the virus from an animal, human, or materials contaminated with the virus. According to the US Based Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus enters the body through broken skin (even if not visible), respiratory tract, or the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth). Meanwhile, Animal-to-human transmission may occur by bite or scratch, bush meat preparation, direct contact with body fluids or lesion material, or indirect contact with lesion material, such as through contaminated bedding.

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