Everything You Need to Know About Monkeypox
Back in July, the World Health Organization (WHO) publicly declared the current monkeypox outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). With the challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic still looming, many wonder how these recent monkeypox outbreaks could affect people and businesses. Here’s some information to help put you at ease about what monkeypox is and how to keep yourself safe and protected.
What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus. Symptoms are very similar to the variola virus, which causes smallpox, but milder and rarely fatal. People with monkeypox will experience a rash located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole). They could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth. Additional symptoms may include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Muscle aches and backache
- Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
Monkeypox was first discovered back in 1958, but the first human case of monkeypox wasn’t recorded until 1970. Before the 2022 outbreak, monkeypox had been reported in people in several central and western African countries.
How it Spreads
The most common settings for transmission are within households or health care settings. Monkeypox spreads through close contact with an infected animal or person, including:
- Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox
- Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox
- Contact with respiratory secretions such as mucus or saliva
Here are some tips on how to keep yourself and others protected:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
- Avoid handling any laundry (clothes, sheets, blankets, or other materials) that have been in contact with an infected animal or person.
- Isolate people who have monkeypox from healthy people.
- Wash your hands well with soap and water, especially after any contact with an infected person or animal.
- Avoid animals that may carry the virus.
- Routinely clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and items (such as counters, door handles, light switches, tables, etc…) using an EPA-registered disinfectant per the manufacturer’s instructions.
- If eligible, vaccination
- In the U.S., two vaccines (JYNNEOS and ACAM2000) have been approved to help prevent and protect against monkeypox. Both vaccines are expected to provide a good level of protection against monkeypox.
The EPA’s List Q: Disinfectants Effective Against Monkeypox
When rare or novel viruses like Monkeypox cause outbreaks of disease, there may be few, if any, disinfectants that have been tested and registered for use against that specific pathogen. In preparation for these types of situations, the EPA created the emerging viral pathogen (EVP) guidance, which allows disinfectant manufacturers to submit data to the EPA demonstrating a product’s efficacy against difficult-to-inactivate viruses.
What is unique about List Q is that it allows users to search all products eligible for use against any of the three main categories of EVPs based on the difficulty to inactivate. The categories are as follows:
- Tier 1: Enveloped viruses. These are the easiest to inactivate. When disinfectants damage their lipid envelope, the virus is no longer infectious. Examples of enveloped viruses include influenza, SARS-CoV-2, and monkeypox viruses.
- Tier 2: Large, nonenveloped viruses. These are encased in protein capsids that make them more difficult to inactivate compared to enveloped viruses. Examples include norovirus, which causes common food-borne gastrointestinal illnesses on cruise ships.
- Tier 3: Small, nonenveloped viruses are the hardest to inactivate. Both their protein capsids and their small size make them less vulnerable to disinfectants compared to other viruses. Examples include adenoviruses, which are thought to be responsible for the recent pediatric hepatitis outbreaks.
How Safetec Can Help
All of Safetec’s SaniZide products meet the EPA’s Disinfectants for Emerging Viral Pathogens (EVPs): List Q criteria for use against Tier 1 Enveloped Viruses like Monkeypox. Safetec surface disinfectants are sub-registered products.
Since the EPA List Q only contains the primary registrant’s name and EPA Registration number, you will not be able to find our products by name. Below is a list of our products and the primary registrant’s information so you can find the products easily on the EPA’s Disinfectants for Emerging Viral Pathogens (EVPs): List Q.
- SaniZide Pro 1™ Spray/Liquid (EPA registration # 88494-3-67161) is Peak Disinfectant by North American Infection Control Ltd under (EPA registration # 88494-3)
- SaniZide Pro 1™ Wipes (EPA Registration # 88494-4-67161) is Peak Disinfectant by North American Infection Control Ltd under (EPA registration # 88494-4)
- SaniZide Plus Spray/Liquid (EPA Registration # 1839-83-67161) is Detergent Disinfectant Pump Spray by Stepan Company (EPA Registration # 1839-83)
- SaniZide Plus Wipes (EPA Registration # 1839-174-67161) is Stepan Towelette by Stepan Company (EPA Registration # 1839-174)
In addition to surface disinfection, practicing good hand hygiene is an integral part of keeping yourself safe and healthy. Hand hygiene has finally gained global recognition from policy-makers, health managers, health care workers, and society as the foundation of infection prevention.
Safetec offers a full hand hygiene line including SaniWash® Antimicrobial Hand Soap and Instant Hand Sanitizer, available in gel or sprays and contains 66.5% ethyl alcohol, exceeding the CDC recommendation of at least 60% ethyl alcohol. The formula kills 99.9% of widespread germs and contains aloe vera. Our P.A.W.S.® Antimicrobial Hand Wipes are formulated with 66.5% ethyl alcohol to kill 99.99% of germs. They also remove debris and soil from hands and under fingernails and come in individually packaged wipes or canisters.
Safetec continues to lead the fight against preventable infections and cross-contamination. Our shared vision of “protecting people” guides everything we do, from sales and marketing through manufacturing, new product development, and shipping. As a US manufacturer of infection control and first aid & OTC products, we provide protection when you need it most.