How do diseases transmit via surfaces?
It is common for many infectious diseases to transmit through surfaces (see figure below). Surfaces can include a range of commonly touched objects such as tabletops, door knobs, toys, light switches and other objects. Generally speaking, the likelihood of disease transmission through surfaces depends on the following factors:
- Amount of pathogen (virus) shed by infected individuals
- Virus survival on surfaces
- Rate of transfer from surfaces to hands or mouth
- Number of viruses required to cause disease (infectious dose)
- Resistance of the virus to disinfection
Surface-mediated transmission. Adapted from: Julian, 2010.
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