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CDC Guidelines for Monkeypox Medical Waste Disposal

August 8, 2022

What is Monkeypox?

Hand in blue medical protect glove is holding wood block with the words Monkeypox VirusMonkeypox (MPXV) is not a new virus. It was originally discovered in 1958 in colonies of monkeys kept for research, so that is where it gets its name. The first human case of monkeypox was in 1970. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes monkeypox as a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, from of the variola family of viruses, which includes smallpox.

While some people have mild symptoms from monkeypox, others may develop more serious symptoms and need health care in a medical facility. Monkeypox spreads from person to person through close contact and environments can become contaminated when an infected person touches clothing, bedding, objects, electronics, and other surfaces. Transmission is also possible through inhaling infected skin flakes. This is why the CDC has implemented additional guidelines to follow when there is monkeypox is potentially present in your facility, which we outline below.

Waste Management

Standard waste management practices of handling, storage, treatment, and disposal of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medical waste must still be followed but the following practices currently differ depending on the monkeypox virus strain:

  1. Waste contaminated with the West African Strain of monkeypox virus should be managed as UN3291 Regulated Medical Waste (RMW) in the same manner as other potentially infectious medical waste. Health Care facilities must also follow state regulations for handling, storage, treatment, and disposal of infectious medical waste.
  2. The Congo Basin Strain is classified as Category A under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR), and should be managed accordingly.

During the 2022 multi-national outbreak, if a public health authority determines that a patient does not have known epidemiological risk for the Congo Basin strain, it is appropriate to manage the patient’s waste as RMW, but if the strain is unknown, it should be handled as Category A infectious medical waste.

Precautions for Preventing Transmission

Use of PPE (gloves, gown, eye protection, NIOSH-approved particulate respirator with minimum N95 filters) is recommended when entering a patient’s room or moving patient clothing or bedding.

Patients suspected of monkeypox infection should be separated from other patients and kept isolated.

Safe Waste Disposal is Available

Monkeypox, like any other virus, must be taken seriously and handled properly. Healthcare and medical facilities need to protect patients and help control the spread of the virus. Proper practices and procedures are vital, but they are only part of the necessary care required. Correct and safe disposal of medical waste is just as important.

GreenServ provides regulated medical waste removal and disposal services to Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Arkansas. We have you covered, ensuring your medical waste is disposed of in compliance with state, federal, and special CDC regulations. To talk to one of our friendly experts about your unique medical waste management needs, call us at 662-533-0940 or complete the form on this page. We’re standing by to help!

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