One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Objects or materials which are likely to carry infection, such as clothes, utensils, and furniture.
- ‘Many viral infections are spread chiefly by aerosol, rather than by fomites or personal contact.’
- ‘Transmission is by person to person and fomites, such as bedding and clothing.’
- ‘Moreover, they may contaminate fomites that can transmit the disease to persons who do not have direct contact with the animals.’
- ‘Transmission of dermatophytes also can occur indirectly from fomites.’
- ‘Transmission by virus-contaminated hands or fomites is less likely.’
Early 19th century: from Latin, plural of fomes, literally ‘touchwood, tinder’.
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