The Role of Surfaces in the Spread of Disease
SIGNIFICANCE OF FOMITES IN THE SPREAD OF RESPIRATORY AND ENTERIC VIRAL DISEASE
Published: Applied and Environmental Microbiology, March 2007
Viruses cause the majority (60%) of human infections along with common illnesses caused by respiratory and enteric viruses. Unfortunately, unlike diseases caused by bacteria, viral illnesses cannot be treated with antibiotics, making prevention even more critical.
This article summarizes existing research to assess the significance fomites (porous and nonporous surfaces or objects that can become contaminated) in the spread of common viruses.
Once a surface becomes contaminated, the transfer of infectious disease between objects can easily occur. Numerous studies have shown that contaminated fomites (surfaces) are linked with the transmission of viruses, therefore disinfection of surfaces can be used to help interrupt disease spread.