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How Long Does the Chicken Pox Virus Live on Toys?

By Tucker Cummings ; Updated July 27, 2017

Chicken pox is a relatively harmless illness that causes red, itchy spots or blisters on the skin. In most cases, it affects children and generally poses no serious risk. The virus can live on surfaces outside of the human body.

Viruses

Generally speaking, viruses are unable to live for more than a few hours outside of the human body.

Risks

People who should take precautions to avoid carriers of the virus, as well as the toys of children who have chicken pox, include adults who never had chicken pox, some pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.

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Hard Toys

The chicken pox virus typically dies within a few hours on hard surfaces, although it can take as long as 24 hours.

Soft Toys

Soft toys can hold moisture better than hard surfaces, meaning that saliva, mucus and other bodily fluids infected with the virus take longer to evaporate. Once the fabric has dried, the virus is vulnerable.

Killing the Virus

You can kill the chicken pox viruses by cleaning toys with bleach or rubbing alcohol.

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