Can monkeypox spread on clothing or grocery items? An expert weighs in

RALEIGH, NC– Tiana Galloway said the monkeypox fear is changing her spending habits and, more importantly, the things she touches.

“That’s my biggest concern about grocery shopping,” she said.

The Raleigh, North Carolina resident fears the virus could be present on items such as clothing.

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“I often think of second-hand clothes because that’s the trend now, but it’s worrying because these are clothes that people have worn. You never know. And in the store, they don’t wash (them) after people try them on,” she told Galloway.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, monkeypox can spread through direct contact or by touching objects, fabrics, and surfaces used by an infected person.

dr David Wohl, an infectious disease expert at UNC Health, said that while the risk could occur, it was small.

“I don’t think I would worry too much about these very random encounters with inanimate objects. You won’t catch this in a restaurant. You won’t catch this from a park bench. Trying on clothes I’d say that’s pretty unlikely. You would have to have someone who had lesions with the monkeypox virus right before they tried on clothes,” Wohl said.

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Currently, the demographic most affected by monkeypox are men who have sex with other men and their sexual partners.

Wohl warned that this is likely to change.

“It’s not going to stay on the lane it’s on right now and so we should be prepared,” he said. “I think the biggest concern I have is like staph infections or MRSA infections, where we’re seeing that in day care centers, where we’re starting to see that in athletes, in wrestlers, where the body is skin-to-skin contact. “

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