Can monkeypox spread on clothes or groceries? An expert intervenes

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) — Tiana Galloway said monkeypox fears were changing her spending habits and, more importantly, the things she touched.

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

The Raleigh resident fears the virus could show up on items such as clothing.

“I often think of second-hand clothes, because it’s trendy now, but it’s worrying because these are clothes that people have worn. You never know and at the store, they don’t wash them after people have tried them,” Galloway said. .

The CDC says monkeypox can be spread through direct contact or by touching objects, fabrics and surfaces used by an infected person.

UNC Health infectious disease expert Dr. David Wohl said while it could happen, the risk is low.

RELATED: Wake County Public Health Center Hosts First Monkeypox Vaccination Clinic

“I don’t think I would worry too much about these very casual encounters with inanimate objects. You’re not going to catch that in a restaurant. You’re not going to catch that on a park bench. Trying on clothes, I I would say it’s pretty unlikely. Someone would have to, just before trying on any clothes, have lesions caused by the monkey pox virus,” Wohl said.

The population most affected by monkeypox are men who have sex with men and their sexual partners.

Wohl warned that would likely change.

“It’s not going to stay the way it is right now and so we have to be prepared,” he said. “I think my No. 1 concern is, like staph infections or like MRSA infections, where we start to see that in daycare, where we start to see that in athletes, in wrestlers, where the body would have skin-to-skin contact.”

The Wake County Health Department has a limited supply of monkeypox vaccine and is offering it to those who may have been exposed.

A total of 111 cases have been reported in North Carolina.

Learn more about monkeypox on the CDC website or on the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website.

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