It seems like every day there is some new story about the spread of Monkeypox in the headlines. While it’s not as deadly as some of the other contagious diseases going around, it is still a serious cause for concern. Commercial property owners and office managers in particular need to be cautious as well as proactive to ensure it doesn’t spread throughout the workplace.
What Is Monkeypox & How Is It Transmitted?
The good news is that Monkeypox is rarely fatal. Yet you shouldn’t let that lead you to think it isn’t a very serious disease. The irony is that the Monkeypox virus has been around for many years. The first recorded human case was actually reported way back in 1970.
It’s believed that the Monkeypox virus originated in wild animals around 1958. This was also a time when monkey colonies started being kept in captivity for research and were faced with an outbreak of a pox-like virus. This is how the Monkeypox disease got its name. Though it didn’t seem to make the zoonotic crossing to humans until the 1970s. Even then the transmission rates were very low, and the disease was incredibly rare.
While it shares some common symptoms with chickenpox, Monkeypox can affect the entire body. This includes causing a condition known as lymphadenopathy, which is the slower than average development of skin lesions along with a fever that develops right before the rash and lesions appear on the skin.
The recent Monkeypox outbreaks following the COVID-19 pandemic have brought it into the public’s eye with greater intensity as well as a fair amount of confusion. While it’s hard for leading scientists to pin down why it started spreading so rapidly, it seems to be linked to international travel and increased close contact with infected people.
Another piece of good news is that the Monkeypox virus is not airborne, you won’t catch it from respiratory droplets, or a lot of the other methods that dangerous viruses like COVID-19 and influenza are spread. Instead, Monkeypox is transmitted through direct contact.
This includes things like:
- Touching infected scabs, body fluids, or the rash on an infected person.
- Intimate sexual contact with an infected person
- Extended non-sexual physical contact with an infected person.
- Touching infected fabrics
- Touching soft surface objects that have recently been used by an infected person
It’s also worth noting that pregnant women can also spread the virus to their fetuses via the placental connection.
How Monkeypox Can Affect Workplace Productivity
The telltale rash that accompanies most cases of Monkeypox is considered to be contagious from the point when it first appears to when it is fully healed over with a fresh layer of health, new skin. This healing process typically takes between two to four weeks. During this time, the individual is still considered to be highly contagious and needs to remain in relative isolation.
This means that an employee who contracts Monkeypox is going to be out with a lot of sick days. While they might be able to still get work done and interact with colleagues while working from home, a Monkeypox outbreak in your workplace is still going to impact overall productivity.
How To Disinfect Monkeypox
As an active EVP case, Monkeypox has been classified as a Tier 1 Enveloped Virus, and the US Environmental Protection Agency has yet to list an official disinfectant to effectively kill or disinfect the virus. Though the EPA does recommend using disinfectants that appear on its list for managing “Emerging Viral Pathogens” which are known in the industry as EVPs.
This includes disinfecting agents with active ingredients such as:
- Hypochlorous acid
- Chlorine dioxide
- Sodium chlorite
- Isopropanol (Isopropyl alcohol)
- Quaternary ammonium
- Sodium hypochlorite
They also recommend a series of steps to help professionally treat an area contaminated by Monkeypox. This includes things like:
- Cleaning technicians wear appropriate PPE for the treatment environment
- Equipment has been tested several times during the job to ensure all surfaces have been properly treated
- All contaminated materials are disposed of according to prevailing biohazard standards
Professional Cleaning & Disinfecting for Monkeypox
It seems clear that you need to be proactive in your cleaning and sanitation practices should one or more of your employees test positive for monkeypox. The problem is that most of the cleaning products found on store shelves are rarely effective enough to kill such a virulent virus, and the last thing you want is to just “Hope” you got it all.
You need a professional cleaning company you can trust like Building Services Inc. to handle all your disinfecting and sanitation needs should an outbreak strike your workplace. We have access to the cutting-edge commercial-grade cleaning and disinfecting products you need to ensure your workplace is safe.
We also provide you with all the necessary documentation you need to demonstrate that you had the workplace environment professionally disinfected. This will go a long way toward insulating you from future liability concerns, as well as giving your employees, and their families the peace of mind they need to feel safe in returning to work after a Monkeypox outbreak.
Preventing Monkeypox from Affecting the Workplace
Of course, the best offense is a good defense. It’s far better to be proactive about preventing Monkeypox from flaring up in your workplace than it is to try to disinfect the entire facility, and risk business being shut down for days afterward.
This starts with contracting an industry leader in workplace cleaning and sanitizing like Building Services Inc. We specialize in cleaning and disinfecting commercial properties with exacting standards. We use only the highest quality cleaning products and commercial-grade cleaning equipment to ensure your workplace is meticulously clean.
This is a strong first line of defense against one of your employees or guests transmitting the Monkeypox virus throughout your facility. The commercial-grade cleaning products in our arsenal include solutions that are listed on the EPA’s EVP tier 1 disinfecting list.
We also offer a wide range of state-of-the-art disinfecting technology. This includes electrostatic disinfectant spraying, which kills a wide range of pathogens in areas that a lot of traditional cleaning techniques struggle to reach.