In May 2022, an office worker attended their place of work while experiencing prodromal (pre-lesion) symptoms of monkeypox infection.
Environmental sampling performed four days later identified only low levels of monkeypox virus DNA contamination of the worker’s desk, and no contamination elsewhere within the office. Replication-competent virus was not identified.
It is notable that the patient reported their skin lesions only emerged after they had taken leave from work due to illness, raising the possibility that the MPXV DNA detected on their desk may have come from respiratory secretions through droplets or contaminated hands.
The limited detection of MPXV DNA and absence of secondary cases do not demonstrate that cleaning is unnecessary in an office where an infected person has worked, or that focussed cleaning of an infected person’s desk area is all that is required.
These data confirm that MPXV contamination can occur in workplace environments occupied by a person with early monkeypox illness and, accordingly, appropriate cleaning and decontamination measures should be considered in such situations.