Can The Monkeypox Virus Spread On Clothing, Grocery Items?

Can you catch monkeypox by touching objects, fabrics, and surfaces? Health experts say yes, but the risk is low.

The concern comes after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that the transmissible virus can spread through direct contact with things and surfaces an infected person has touched or used.

In an interview with ABC11, Raleigh, North Carolina resident Tiana Galloway said she feared that monkeypox would change her spending habits and the things she’s touching.

“That’s my biggest concern – shopping in the grocery store,” she added.

But the risk of that happening is low.

“I don’t think I would worry too much about these very casual encounters with inanimate objects. You’re not going to catch this at a restaurant. You’re not going to catch this off of a park bench. Trying on clothes I would say that’s pretty unlikely. You would have to have somebody, who right before you tried on clothes, who had lesions with monkeypox virus,” University of North Carolina (UNC) Health infectious diseases expert Dr. David Wohl said.

While monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease, the population most affected right now by the virus is men who have sex with men and their sexual partners, given the close and direct contact during intercourse and intimate moments.

However, Wohl warned that this would likely change, so people must be prepared at all times.

"I think the No. 1 concern I have is, like staph infections or like MRSA infections, where we start to see this in daycares, where we start to see this in athletes, in wrestlers, where the body would have skin-to-skin contact."

Wohl added that it’s even more critical given the low supply of monkeypox vaccines available.

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that to stretch the limited vaccine supply, it’s considering “dose-sparing,” where one dose would be divided among five patients.

A study made in 2018 indicated that a fifth – or even a tenth – of the usual vaccine dose could still provide an immune response similar to that of a full dose.

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