Top 5 Takeaways

  1. High Rate of Contamination: In a study, 70% of sampled household objects and surfaces in a home of two monkeypox patients tested positive for monkeypox virus DNA via PCR.
  2. Varied Surface Types: Contamination included all three porous items (e.g., cloth furniture, blankets), 68% of nonporous surfaces (e.g., handles, switches), and one mixed surface type.
  3. No Viable Virus Detected: Despite the high PCR positivity rate, no specimen yielded a positive viral culture, suggesting the virus’s viability might decrease over time or due to environmental factors.
  4. Effective Cleaning Practices: The residents’ cleaning practices, which did not include EPA-recommended disinfectants for emerging viral pathogens, potentially limited environmental contamination levels.
  5. Transmission and Precautions: This case highlights the importance of hygiene and disinfection practices in households with monkeypox patients to prevent indirect transmission through contaminated objects.


This MMWR Article was created prior to the conventional renaming of Monkeypox to its more standard and appropriate name, Mpox. To avoid confusion, Monkeypox is retained when writing this article, but all future works should use Mpox.

Original Article Author and Citation

Corresponding Author

Jack A. Pfeiffer,

Suggested Citation

Pfeiffer JA, Collingwood A, Rider LE, et al. High-Contact Object and Surface Contamination in a Household of Persons with Monkeypox Virus Infection — Utah, June 2022. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:1092-1094. DOI: .


This MMWR article reports on the environmental contamination of household objects and surfaces in a Utah home where two individuals with confirmed monkeypox virus infections resided. It emphasizes the presence of monkeypox virus DNA on various items despite routine cleaning and disinfection practices by the patients, underscoring the potential for environmental transmission.


The Utah Department of Health and Human Services conducted environmental sampling in the household, testing 30 objects across nine areas using real-time PCR assays. Despite symptomatic individuals’ cleaning efforts, 21 out of 30 samples tested positive for monkeypox virus DNA.


The findings reveal significant environmental contamination within the household, albeit without evidence of viable virus. This suggests that the monkeypox virus’s transmissibility may be mitigated by proper cleaning practices, despite the persistence of viral DNA.


This study underscores the need for adherence to hygiene and disinfection protocols in households affected by monkeypox, along with further research to better understand the dynamics of environmental contamination and indirect transmission.


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