Monkey pox. Can you catch the virus at the restaurant?

“Can monkey pox be caught on restaurant cutlery? » asks Laurence, from Colmar. Monkeypox is a disease characterized by skin rashes, which may be accompanied by fever, sore throat or pain in the lymph nodes. While France exceeded 1,000 cases in early July, what do we know about the transmission of the disease? How can we catch it? Ouest-France answers you.

Transmission from animal to human

How did the virus emerge in humans? Monkeypox is a disease that is transmitted from animals to humans. The transmission zones are the edges of tropical rainforests, where animals carrying the virus live. Despite its name, monkeypox can be transmitted by rodents (squirrels, Gambian poachers, dormice), but also different species of monkeys.

“Transmission occurs through direct contact with blood, body fluids or lesions of the skin or mucous membranes of infected animals, for example through a bite or scratch or through the preparation or consumption of undercooked bushmeat”writes Public Health France.

Read also: Monkey pox. Symptoms, transmission, vaccination… Where is the epidemic?

Human-to-human transmission

Human-to-human transmission occurs through prolonged face-to-face contact through respiratory droplets, or through direct contact with an infected person through bodily fluids, lesions caused by the disease, or internal mucous membranes. .

“Sexual intercourse […] meet these conditions for contamination, and having several partners increases the risk of being exposed to the virus.recalls Public Health France.

The transmission via inanimate objects

Transmission can be done via contaminated inanimate objects. And here we touch on Laurence’s question. This can be clothes, sheets, bath linen or dishes. It can therefore be risky to eat or drink from the same dishes as a sick person, or to use the same objects as them.

However, if the cutlery is properly cleaned, there is no risk of contamination. The National Food Safety Agency (Anses), questioned by our colleagues from Sciences et Avenir, explains that “washing utensils and dishes in the dishwasher and laundry in the washing machine (at temperatures above 60°C) eliminates the virus”. If restaurant cutlery has been previously washed in the dishwasher, it will not be able to transmit monkeypox.

As for contaminated surfaces, household products eliminate the virus. “Standard household (domestic) cleaners/disinfectants can be used, when applying the doses and action times intended by the manufacturer to obtain virucidal activity”adds ANSES.

To protect themselves, vaccination against monkey pox has been open to the entire population at risk of contracting the disease since July 8. It relates to “men who have sex with men reporting multiple sexual partners: trans people reporting multiple sexual partners; people in a situation of prostitution; professionals working in places of sexual consumption”writes Public Health France.

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