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WHO-Recommended Hand Disinfectants Inactivate Monkeypox Viruses

Alcohol-based disinfectants are effective against enveloped viruses

Ruhr-University Bochum
Published:Nov 23, 2022
|1 min read
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Pox viruses can be transmitted not only through direct contact with body fluids, but also via contaminated hands. “To prevent the spread of monkeypox, good hand hygiene is therefore essential,” points out lead author Dr. Toni Meister.

To test the effectiveness of the disinfectants recommended by the WHO, the researchers brought the viruses into contact with one of the recommended WHO formulations as well as with their main components ethanol and isopropanol individually. After an exposure time of 30 seconds, they determined the number of virus particles that were still infectious compared to the baseline value. “We could show that both WHO disinfectants sufficiently inactivate the virus,” says Professor Eike Steinmann.

Since most commercial disinfectants also contain ethanol or isopropanol, they should also inactivate the virus. “The critical factor is the concentration of the ingredients, but you can usually read this on the packaging,” says Toni Meister. “Disinfectants containing 40 to 60 percent ethanol by volume or 40 percent isopropanol or more are effective against monkeypox.”

WHO-recommended formulations

WHO-recommended disinfectant I consists of 80 percent ethanol by volume, 1.45 percent glycerol by volume and 0.125 percent hydrogen peroxide by volume. Disinfectant II consists of 75 percent by volume isopropanol, 1.45 percent by volume glycerol and 0.125 percent by volume hydrogen peroxide.

- This press release was originally published on the Ruhr-University Bochum website