Dental Disinfection and Environmental Decontamination
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Some microbes can survive for extended periods of time on inanimate surfaces (fomites) with the potential to be picked up and transmitted. Viruses tend to only survive for hours or at most days, but some bacteria can remain viable for weeks to months without a host. MRSA has been found to remain viable for over 70 days and E.coli for 16 months. Persistence of microbes on surfaces including door handles and bedding has been identified as a source of the spread of infections in hospital settings. Environmental contamination in healthcare is not limited to the hospital setting, and dental practices are no exception.