Fomites are associated particularly with hospital acquired infections (HAI), as they are possible routes to pass pathogens between patients. Stethoscopes and neckties are two such fomites associated with doctors. Basic hospital equipment, such as IV drip tubes, catheters, and life support equipment can also be carriers, when the pathogens form biofilms on the surfaces. Careful sterilization of such objects must be undertaken to stop cross-infection.
Researchers discovered that smooth (non-porous) surfaces transmit bacteria and viruses better than porous materials; so one is more likely to pick-up a disease from a door knob than from paper money.. The reason is that porous, especially fibrous, materials absorb and trap the contagion, making it harder to contract through simple touch.
US Patent Issued to the United States of America as Represented by the Secretary of the Army on June 4 for "Fomite Tumbler and Method of Transferring Biological Material" (Maryland Inventors)
Jun 04, 2013; ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 4 -- United States Patent no. 8,454,224, issued on June 4, was assigned to The United States of America as...