FACT CHECK: Did TheJournal.ie Publish This Article About Monkeypox Living On Surfaces For Up To 120 Years?
An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows an article published by TheJournal.ie with a headline that reads, “Monkeypox can live on door handles and toilet seats for 120 years and can infect anyone from 5 miles away.”
The image is digitally altered. There are no credible reports suggesting TheJournal.ie published such an article.
The World Health Organization recently declared monkeypox, a virus quickly spreading across the world, a “global health emergency,” CNBC reported. The virus is spread through direct contact with bodily fluid, scabs or rashes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
An image shared on Facebook claims monkeypox can live on surfaces for up to 120 years. The image shows what appears to be a news article from the Irish news outlet TheJournal.ie with a headline that reads, “Monkeypox can live on door handles and toilet seats for 120 years and can infect anyone from 5 miles away.” The article appears to have been viewed approximately 37,000 times.
“‘Without wishing to sound alarmist it’s certainly time to panic now,’ said a UCD expert with a degree in Journalism but who once read a really good book on virology,” reads the article’s sub-headline. (RELATED: FACT CHECK: Did The FDA Approve A Pfizer Monkeypox Vaccine?)
The article is digitally fabricated. No such story appears on TheJournal.ie’s website or its verified social media accounts. There are likewise no credible news reports suggesting any news outlet ran such a story or that any study found that monkeypox can live on surfaces for more than a century. An editor at TheJournal.ie confirmed the outlet never published such a headline.
A reverse image search shows multiple articles published by TheJournal.ie featuring the same image included in the Facebook post, but none of these genuine articles mention monkeypox living on surfaces for 120 years.
The CDC states on its website that the virus can contaminate the environment for an extended period of time. “During the infectious period of time, body fluids, respiratory secretions, and lesion material from people with monkeypox can contaminate the environment,” reads the CDC website. “Poxviruses can survive in linens, clothing and on environmental surfaces, particularly when in dark, cool, and low humidity environments. In one study, investigators found live virus 15 days after a patient’s home was left unoccupied.”