Can I Get Monkeypox at the Gym? A Doctor Explains

As monkeypox continues to spread throughout the nation, people are wondering if they can contract the virus while working out at the gym. Permanente adult and family medicine physician Jason Singh, MD, spoke with WJLA about how monkeypox spreads and if it can live on gym equipment.

“At this point, it’s unclear how long monkeypox can live on surfaces. There doesn’t appear to be any specific timeframe, though in rare instances, it has been found to survive in unoccupied homes for up to two weeks,” Dr. Singh said.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, monkeypox is spread through direct contact with monkeypox rash or touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.

“Now, what is reassuring is that the virus is an enveloped virus, meaning the virus is coated with a fatty membrane which is easily disrupted with household detergents and cleaners,” Dr. Singh said. “So, without the envelope on the virus, it is no longer infectious, which is why it’s so important to wipe down the gym equipment before and after use.”