Monkeypox has been rampant in Germany for months. Although there is now a vaccination against it, so far only a few Germans have been protected. A study has now examined how high the risk of transmitting monkeypox through contaminated surfaces is.
A total of 3,300 cases of monkeypox have been reported from all 16 federal states, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).1 According to the RKI, there has been a slight decline in the number of weekly reported cases since the beginning of August 2022. But where exactly lies the greatest risk of infection? That’s what the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wanted to find out. For example, their study also provides an indication of whether you could be infected with monkeypox at the gym.
Health officials examined the families of infected people
One small study looked at the family of a couple who had had monkeypox.2 As reported by the US “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention”, the health authority of Salt Lake County (Utah State) reported two as of May 2020. PCR test Proven cases of monkeypox. Both the affected people lived together in the same house and probably got infected during travel. After about eight days, the infected showed symptoms like fatigue and body aches.
Initially, both the people isolated themselves at home for a total of 20 days. It was only then that health officials came and took samples from surfaces throughout the apartment. Specifically, samples were taken from items that were frequently used by infected people.
Also interesting: EU Commission approves monkeypox vaccine
70% of samples were found infected with monkeypox
Though the residents maintained strict hygiene and disinfection at home during their 20 days of isolation, most of the samples turned out to be positive. Of the 30 samples taken, 21 were positive. This equates to about 70 percent. Samples of textiles such as cloth furniture and blankets were also contaminated despite strict hygiene measures.
But behind the frightening results lies another positive: none of the samples tested contained live virus. This means that monkeypox could still be detected in the home after 20 days, but these viruses were no longer contagious.
Also interesting: New symptoms of monkeypox may cause confusion in diagnosis
Strong hygiene neutralizes monkeypox
Apparently, the strong sanitization of infected people in the home ensured that the virus was inactivated. Study lead author Jack A. “The absence of a live virus suggests that the viability of the virus is decreasing over time or through chemical inactivation,” Pfeiffer wrote.
But what do these results actually mean? How to behave properly in public places? And can monkeypox spread in the gym as well? “I don’t think this should lead to increased disinfection of public places because we haven’t seen the spread of monkeypox through casual contact,” said Dr. Studying the Eric Ciao-Pea Health Portal »health line“. Rather, it suggests that it is not a highly contagious virus that spreads through surface contact. Nevertheless, it makes sense to focus on strict hygiene measures, especially in homes with infected people, and Isolating yourself for a sufficiently long period of time, about three to four weeks.
Also interesting: STIKO recommends monkeypox vaccination for risk groups
How is monkeypox primarily spread?
The study’s researchers emphasize that monkeypox is primarily spread through close skin-to-skin contact. The risk of infection is highest by coming in contact with:
- skin rash,
- body fluid
- and respiratory secretions of an infected person.
The fluid in the blisters and the sores that develop after the blisters burst, as well as the scabs that form on them, are particularly contagious, according to the German Edschiff.3 Because of this, things that come into direct contact with the skin can transmit monkeypox. This includes contaminated clothing such as clothing, bed linen, blankets and towels.
For the gym this means keeping your distance from other people and under no circumstances should you come into contact with their body fluids such as sweat. Before using a device, it is advisable to clean the device (especially skin contact surfaces) with a disinfectant. Anyone who takes this into account should reduce their risk of getting monkeypox at the gym.
Web guru. Amateur thinker. Unapologetic problem solver. Zombie expert. Hipster-friendly travel geek. Social mediaholic.