(c) 2010-2024 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Occupational Exposure to Monkeypox

A recent report published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] provides evidence supporting the hypothesis that both health care workers’ [HCW] infections observed in this study were transmitted through fomite exposure with surfaces in the patient’s home, their own PPE, or outer surfaces of the specimen transport box. 

Exposure by contact

These findings highlight that Monkeypox [MPXV] might be acquired through contact with fomites, such as patient belongings or surfaces contaminated with infectious viral particles. 

Close interaction between patients and HCWs is also a risk factor for MPXV transmission. As notable routes of MPXV transmission, such interactions should be targeted along with diagnosis and quarantine for MPXV containment measures.

Recommendations for preexposure and postexposure prophylaxis include the correct use of appropriate personal protective equipment [PPE]. Infectious MPXV particles can remain on furniture and fabric surfaces, so caution is needed when in contact with general protection equipment and household objects that have been exposed to suspected case patients.


The authors propose specific measures to prevent and curtail monkeypox infection acquired through fomites. HCWs must be properly trained to collect specimens safely, use PPE, implement control measures, and perform frequent hand hygiene. 

1. HCWs should wear gloves throughout entire visits and during contact with possibly infected persons and their belongings. 

2. Secondly, a disinfectant product effective against microbial pathogens such as nonenveloped viruses (e.g., norovirus, rotavirus, adenovirus, poliovirus) should be applied to object surfaces before and after interactions with suspected case patients.


3. Finally, vaccination campaigns should be conducted among high-risk groups, including certain HCWs. 

The possible transmission of MPXV by 2 HCWs from a patient environment illustrates a potential transmission source with broad implications for infection control and prevention. It indicates the need for specific interventions in the ongoing multicountry outbreak.

Recommended Citation: Gelman, Jon L.,  Occupational Exposure to Monkeypox , Workers' Compensation Blog, Oct. 9, 2022), 

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Jon L. Gelman of Wayne, NJ, is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters). For over five decades, the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  have represented injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.


Blog: Workers ' Compensation

Twitter: jongelman

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Author: "Workers' Compensation Law" Thomson-Reuters