Originally Posted by Ann-Marita
If the object is placed in an airtight container, it can last several days. Well, it might depend on the object. Something smooth and dry - the virus might die off rapidly. Something sort of wet and/or sticky, it will last longer.
My understanding is that most viruses die within 24 hours away from their "host". Can you give me a source of information for CP lasting longer than 24 hours? Or that "wet & sticky" helps it survive longer?
I did post about sending CP through the mail, but it was deleted as that may be illegal. I was not advocating mailing items in the first place, since, legal or not, it could put postal workers at risk if the have never had pox or are immuno-compromised. I was just asking if anyone knew first hand of anyone who had caught pox that way.
But this is the real question anyhow. Leaving the mail out the equation, how long will CP live outside of a human body, and what is the best "carrier" if we want to keep the virus alive?
And if anyone knows of anyone who has caught pox from an object, please let us know the circumstances. What was the item, and how long after exposure by the child with CP did the other child handle the item? (If it was mailed, please don't mention it!)
OP- I hope this is not stealing your thread- I'm just thinking this is a way to get you more of the info you are looking for.
Below is a collection of facts I've found about CP transmission. It mentions CP surviving on bedding and clothing, but it does not say for how long.
****Chicken Pox Transmission
Common among family members and co-workers due to close contact.
Contact with airborne particles. Exhaled droplets often enter the air, like by the infected person’s cough.
Contact with the fluids that drains from the blisters.Indirect transmission
Contact with article of clothing or other item infected with fresh drainage from open blistersWhen does the chicken pox virus spread?
Up to five days before the appearance of a rash, an infected person could transmit the chicken pox virus. Most often the chicken pox virus will be transmitted one to two days before the chicken pox rash appears. From approximately five days after the rash first appears and the blisters begin to drain, till the last blister scabs over.
Chickenpox is usually acquired by the inhalation of airborne respiratory droplets from an infected host. The highly contagious nature of VZV explains the epidemics of chickenpox that spread through schools as one child who is infected quickly spreads the virus to many classmates. High viral titers are found in the characteristic vesicles of chickenpox; thus, viral transmission may also occur through direct contact with these vesicles, although the risk is lower.
After initial inhalation of contaminated respiratory droplets, the virus infects the conjunctivae or the mucosae of the upper respiratory tract. Viral proliferation occurs in regional lymph nodes of the upper respiratory tract 2-4 days after initial infection and is followed by primary viremia on postinfection days 4-6. A second round of viral replication occurs in the body's internal organs, most notably the liver and the spleen, followed by a secondary viremia 14-16 days postinfection. This secondary viremia is characterized by diffuse viral invasion of capillary endothelial cells and the epidermis. VZV infection of cells of the malpighian layer produces both intercellular edema and intracellular edema, resulting in the characteristic vesicle.
Chickenpox is one of the most readily communicable diseases. It can be spread from person to person by direct contact with fluid from the blisters or with secretions from the respiratory tract or by handling an infected person's clothing or bedding. Airborne transmission is possible through sneezing and coughing. Susceptibility to chickenpox is universal among those not previously infected. The greatest number of cases occur in the winter and early spring.
Chickenpox is extremely contagious, and can be spread by direct contact, droplet transmission, and airborne transmission. Even those with mild illness after the vaccine may be contagious.
Because chickenpox is airborne and very contagious before the rash appears, it is difficult to avoid. It is possible to catch chickenpox from someone on a different aisle in the supermarket, who doesn't even know they have chickenpox!