Top Five Surfaces That Can Carry Enterovirus

by Kristina Brooks Editor

A big cause of respiratory illness among children in the U.S. is a condition called enterovirus D68, which has been reported in 46 states. There's no vaccine for this virus, so prevention is the key to keeping it from spreading. And the key to prevention is being diligent about disinfecting surfaces. Here are the surfaces you don't want to miss.

Doorknobs and handles

These are the most common places that can carry an enterovirus. Enteroviruses can survive in a number of environments, including in freezing temperatures and high acidity, and can live on uncleaned surfaces for days. Viruses on just one door can spread to 60 percent of co-workers and visitors in just a few hours.


The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that almost all of the enterovirus cases reported in 2014 occurred in children. That's why it's important to consider wiping off toys before your kids play with them.

Health care surfaces

Exposure to patients in health care offices leave desktops, countertops and keyboards vulnerable to enterovirus. Make sure to wipe surfaces with only hospital-grade disinfectants. They should have EPA labels for non-enveloped viruses like poliovirus and rhinovirus, which are stronger and can be harder to kill.


These high traffic surfaces are found in just about any building, including your home, and should be cleaned frequently to reduce the spread of enterovirus. To properly tackle enterovirus, wipe surfaces with both your regular household cleaner and a low-toxicity disinfectant or sanitizer.


Although enterovirus is spread through respiratory secretions (coughing or sneezing), it can still be transferred by touching and infecting surfaces. Be sure to wash your hands with disinfectant soap for a full 20 seconds regularly. If you cough or sneeze, do so in a tissue or sleeve to capture germs.

Kristina Brooks
Meet Our Writer
Kristina Brooks

Kristina Brooks was a digital editor at HealthCentral with a background in animal biology, ecology, and health science. While studying broadcast journalism, she discovered the great need for health reporters that could translate research to the public. In her work, she hopes to use research to help consumers make smart decisions about their healthcare, and empower patients to stay confident and in charge of their chronic conditions. She helped launch HealthCentral's inaugural MythWeek.