What Is Indirect Contact and Direct Contact?

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In disease transmission, direct contact requires physical contact and indirect contact can include touching surfaces, previously touched by an infected person. Direct contact can include touching, kissing and sexual contact so that the microorganisms can be physically transferred. Many organisms can live on surfaces for extended periods of time, allowing for indirect contact.

The surfaces involved with indirect contact can include door knob and handles, tables, beds, cups, dishes, faucets, sinks, computer keyboards and mice, phones and children’s toys. To reduce indirect contact, it is important to disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Direct transmission easily occurs between members of the same household, family and friends.