Monkeypox has been spreading in Germany for months. Although there was a vaccination against it, only a few Germans have been protected so far. A study has now examined how high the risk of developing monkeypox through contaminated surfaces is.
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), a total of about 3,300 cases of monkeypox have been reported from all 16 federal states.1 According to the RKI, the number of cases reported per week has decreased slightly since the beginning of August 2022. But where is the highest risk of infection? That’s what the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wanted to find out. Their study also gives an indication of whether you might catch monkeypox in the gym, for example.
Health authorities are examining the homes of the injured
A small study looked at the home of a couple who had monkeypox.2 As reported by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Salt Lake County (Utah) Health Authority reports two as of May 2020. PCR test Confirmed cases of monkeypox. The two infected people lived together in one home and may have been infected on a trip. After about eight days, the sufferers developed symptoms such as fatigue and body aches.
Initially, the two people self-isolated at home for 20 days. Only then the health authorities came and took samples from the surfaces throughout the apartment. In particular, objects frequently used by sufferers were sampled.
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70% of the samples were contaminated with monkeypox
Although residents maintained strict hygiene and disinfection at home during their 20-day isolation period, most samples came back positive. Of the 30 samples taken, 21 were positive. This corresponds to about 70 percent. Even textile samples such as cloth furniture and blankets were contaminated – despite strict hygiene measures.
But there’s another upside behind the frightening results: None of the samples examined contained live viruses. This means that monkeypox can still be detected at home after 20 days, but these viruses are no longer contagious.
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Strong sewage makes monkeypox asleep
Apparently, the vigorous hygiene of infected people at home ensured that the virus became dormant. Jack A. Pfeiffer, the study’s lead author, wrote, “The absence of live virus indicates that virus viability decreases over time or through chemical inactivation.”
But what exactly do these results mean? How should one behave properly in public? And can monkeypox also be transmitted in the gym? Comments Dr. Eric Cioè-Peña Study on the Health Portal »Health LineInstead, she points out that this is not a highly contagious virus transmitted by surface contact. However, it makes sense to pay attention to strict hygiene measures, especially in homes with infected people, and isolate yourself long enough, for a period of three to four weeks.
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How is monkeypox transmitted mainly?
In the study, researchers assert that monkeypox is transmitted primarily through close skin-to-skin contact. The risk of infection is higher when in contact with:
- Skin rash,
- body fluids
- and respiratory secretions of the infected person.
According to German Aidshilfe, fluid in blisters and from wounds that appear after blisters erupt, as well as the crust that forms on top of them, is especially contagious.3 Because of this, items that come into contact with the skin can transmit monkeypox. This includes contaminated textiles such as clothing, bed linen, blankets, and towels.
For the gym, this means that you should stay away from other people, and under no circumstances should you come into contact with bodily fluids such as sweat. Before using the device, it is advisable to clean the device (especially surfaces in contact with the skin) with an antiseptic. Anyone who takes this into account should be less likely to get monkeypox at the gym.
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