It’s official, the first case of monkeypox was confirmed in Louisiana by the Department of Health in early July 2022. Monkeypox is an infectious disease similar to smallpox that is quickly becoming a national health threat as cases of it have reached over 30 states since earlier this spring. While many people have heard about monkeypox, very few know how contagious it is and how important it is to properly disinfect an area that has been exposed and potentially contaminated. Keep reading to learn more about this infectious disease and what you can do to protect your home in the event it has been exposed.
How contagious is monkeypox?
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines monkeypox as a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted from animals to humans) with symptoms similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients. Monkeypox typically occurs in central and west Africa near tropical rainforests, but lately it has made its way to the US and has begun to spread throughout the country. Even though the very first identified cases of monkeypox in Louisiana were reported in early July 2022, it’s likely that the disease has been in the state for quite some time.
Since monkeypox can spread in a variety of ways, it’s hard to determine just how contagious it is and how one would have been exposed. Some of the ways it can be spread is through direct contact with an infectious rash or bodily fluids, during intimate physical contact with someone who has the disease, or by touching items that have previously touched an infectious rash or bodily fluids. According to Dr. Joe Kanter, a Louisiana state health officer, the widely held belief is that there is more monkeypox circulating in this country than has been formally identified and diagnosed.
Why proper disinfection matters
While the symptoms of monkeypox are not generally fatal, it can be extremely uncomfortable if you have the disease. Typical signs and symptoms include fever, intense headaches, swelling of the lymph nodes, back pain, muscle aches, and lack of energy. While monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with symptoms lasting from two to four weeks, some severe cases can occur, and it can be transmitted easily through exposure to someone or something that has come in contact with the disease.
If you have monkeypox yourself, the best way to ensure you don’t expose someone else is to self-isolate at home. Once you are feeling better, it’s important to properly disinfect your home and anywhere that you spent time while sick, so you avoid spreading the disease to others. Since transmission of the monkeypox virus is possible from the onset of the first symptoms until scabs have separated and the skin is fully healed, proper disinfection is critical to minimize the risk of infection to others.
Hire professional biohazard cleanup companies to help
Like other infectious diseases, monkeypox can be dangerous and easily spread if not properly cleaned and disinfected from spaces that were contaminated. If you or someone you know have been infected by the monkeypox virus, you’ll want to work with a professional biohazard cleanup company who are the experts in thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting spaces in order to make them safe again.
At Xtreme Cleaners our technicians are highly trained and certified in biohazard recovery. If you or someone you know needs help cleaning up a space after it has been exposed to monkeypox in Louisiana, give us a call at 800-524-9591.