HERSHEY, PENNSYLVANIA - Researchers at Penn State Hershey may have made an important discovery about a virus that causes cervical cancer.
Human papilloma virus or HPV is estimated to be one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. Now, researchers from Penn State College of Medicine say it may also be transmitted by non-sexual contact. Their study showed chemical disinfectants in hand sanitizers and even those used to sterilize hospital and dental iinstruments don't kill the virus.
"Chemical disinfectants used in the hospitals and other healthcare settings have absolutely no effect on killing human papillomavirus," said Craig Meyers, Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Penn State College of Medicine.
"So unless bleach or autoclaving is used in the hospital setting, human papillomavirus is not being killed and there is a potential spread of HPV through hospital acquired or instrument or tool infection," he continued.
Meyers said, their results suggest a need to change the way hospitals and other medical facilities sterilize their equipment.