FAQ: Monkeypox and R-Zero

Monkeypox is continuing to make headlines, so, we've put together an FAQ detailing how the virus spreads and the role of UV-C technology in containing it.

What is Monkeypox?

The Monkeypox virus belongs to the larger viral family known as Poxviridae, and the genus known as orthopoxvirus. There are 12 species in this genus, including Monkeypox, the virus that causes smallpox, and the vaccinia virus used in the vaccine against smallpox. The disease is characterized by a rash and flu-like symptoms. If skin lesions are present, patients can remain infectious for weeks or months.

How is Monkeypox transmitted?

Monkeypox transmission rate is low—an average of 450 cases per day in early August 2022 in the U.S. Transmission primarily happens via skin-to-skin contact or via bodily fluids.

Is Monkeypox transmitted via surfaces?

Monkeypox can linger on surfaces for hours and up to days, but it is not easily transmitted from surfaces to secondary hosts. Surfaces have an extremely low risk of transmission, but it’s not zero. Monkeypox can survive in linens, clothing, and on environmental surfaces, particularly when in dark, cool, and low humidity environments.
(Source: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/specific-settings/home-disinfection.html)

Is Monkeypox susceptible to UVC?

Studies show that Monkeypox virus requires a lethal dose 90% (LD90) of 2.6 mJ/cm2 UV-C, making it somewhat harder to inactivate than SARS-CoV-2 with a LD90 of 2.0 mJ/cm2 UV-C.
(Source: McDevitt JJ, Lai KM, Rudnick SN, Houseman EA, First MW, Milton DK. Characterization of UVC light sensitivity of vaccinia virus. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007 Sep;73(18):5760-6. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00110-07. Epub 2007 Jul 20. PMID: 17644645; PMCID: PMC2074914.)

Can R-Zero Arc inactivate Monkeypox virus?

Yes. A third-party laboratory, Microchem, evaluated the Arc device against Vaccinia virus (ATCC VR-1508 strain). Vaccinia is a Monkeypox surrogate, commonly studied in laboratories as a model poxvirus and is almost identical to Monkeypox. They found that at a distance of 8 feet, Arc demonstrated a ≥ 4.40 log10 reduction (≥ 99.996%) after a single 7 minute cycle.

The study was designed to simulate consumer use and was conducted based upon the modified procedures outlined in the American Society of Test Materials (ASTM) test methods for Standard Practice for Determining Antimicrobial Efficacy of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation Against Microorganisms on Carriers with Simulated Soil (ASTM E3135-18).

More questions? Additional information is available on our blog .