Advice on Cleaning and Disinfecting for Monkeypox
The Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, published an informational video that shares important information about the virus and response tactics with the cleaning industry to help eradicate this disease. The cleaning industry will need to respond as the United States has declared monkeypox a public health emergency and several states have gone a step further and declared a state of emergency. This will free up additional funding and resources to fight the disease.
The first monkeypox case was reported in the U.S. in May and in less than 100 days it has spread rapidly and currently, there are over 9,500 cases confirmed. Sexual transmission is contributing to this outbreak but not exclusively, as some people have caught the virus through face-to-face interactions with someone, or by touching a contaminated surface.
There are some reasonable precautions that people should take to avoid catching monkeypox. Cleaning professionals should be conducting risk assessments. The U.S. CDC has stated “clean and disinfect the areas where people with monkeypox spent time.” The U.S. EPA has published a list of disinfectants for monkeypox called List Q Emerging Viral Pathogens. The U.S. Department of Labor has stated that employers must comply with OSHA’s standards on Bloodborne Pathogens (29 CFR 1910.1030), Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (29 CFR 1910.132), Respiratory Protection (29 CFR 1910.134), and other requirements.
“Cleaning for health is extremely important with monkeypox as it is a completely different virus than COVID-19 and is spread by bodily fluids,” says GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger. “Transfer can happen from direct contact with an infected person and from any item the infected person has touched or used. Knowing this, a scalable response must be put into place, with more training, education, and understanding of the risks involved.”
GBAC environmental health and safety experts are continuously monitoring the monkeypox virus situation and will report on any changes or new information.