Can your pet get infected with monkey pox?

The first case of human-to-animal transmission monkeypox has been reported in Paris. Published in The Lancetthe case of “a dog with a confirmed monkeypox virus infection that may have been contracted through human transmission,” involves two men and their pet Italian Greyhound.

The magazine added that the men developed anal ulceration six days after having sex with other partners. “In patient 1, anal ulceration was followed by a vesiculopustular rash on the face, ears, and legs; in patient 2, on the legs and back. In both cases, the rash was accompanied by asthenia, headache and fever 4 days later,” it said. But 12 days after the onset of symptoms, their four-year-old male with no previous medical conditions showed mucocutaneous lesions, including pustules and thin anal ulceration. The dog tested positive for the monkeypox virus using a PCR protocol, the journal report said.

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The journal further suggested that, given the dog’s skin and mucosal lesions, as well as monkeypox virus positive PCR results from anal and oral swabs, “we are assuming true distemper, not a simple carrier of the virus through close contact with human or airborne transmission (or both)”. Our findings should give rise to discussion about the need to isolate pets from individuals who are positive for monkeypox virus. We call for further research into secondary transmissions through pets, it said.

monkeypox Human-to-animal transfer of monkeypox has been reported for the first time (Source: The Lancet)

Commenting on the same, Dr. Rosamund Lewis, WHO’s technical leader for monkey pox, during a Washington Post Live event on Monday said that “this is the first incident we learn about where there is human-to-animal transmission”, adding: “This has not been reported before and there have been no reports of dogs being infected before”. “On a number of levels, this is new information,” she said. “It’s not surprising information, and it’s something we’re watching for.

She went on to explain that while pets and family members have always been asked to isolate as a precaution, this case reinforces the message. “And so the message that has been given so far has been that pets should be isolated from their relatives who may be infected. This was an example of a precautionary approach, precautionary messages, because we didn’t have the information that this had ever happened before. It hadn’t been recorded before. But it was a fairly cautious message to give. And now we have the first incident where this has actually happened,” she said as part of the Live event.

This is what you need to know

As a reminder, the monkeypox virus is an orthopox virus that causes a disease with symptoms similar to, but less severe, as smallpox. While smallpox was eradicated in 1980, monkeypox, a zoonosis, still occurs in countries in central and western Africa.

The WHO notes that monkeypox can be transmitted through contact with bodily fluids, lesions on the skin or on internal mucosal surfaces, such as in the mouth or throat, respiratory droplets and contaminated objects.

Can your pets get infected?

dr. Vinod Sharma, head of veterinary services, DCC Animal Hospital said: indianexpress.com that pets in close contact with a person with monkey pox symptoms should be kept at home and away from other animals and people for 21 days after the most recent contact. He cited guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and added that infected people should not care for exposed pets.

“The person with monkeypox should avoid close contact with the exposed animal and if possible ask another family member to care for the animal until the person with monkeypox has fully recovered,” he said.

monkeypox Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

How to prevent human-to-animal contamination?

dr. Sharma mentioned that the same hygiene and immunity measures also apply to pets, including dogs and cats.

*Do not allow animals to come into contact with rashes, bandages and body fluids.
*Make sure that food, bedding or other items you provide for your pet have not come into direct contact with the skin or exposed rash.

What should you do if your pet shows symptoms?

According to CDC, the signs of monkey pox in dogs include the development of a new resultwhich to date has been located on the abdomen and anus.

*Do not euthanize pets with suspected monkeypox unless directed by a veterinarian.
* Do not wipe or wash your pet with chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or other products, such as hand sanitizer, kitchen sink wipes, or other industrial or surface cleaners.

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