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The American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its advice on monkeypox to include dogs as susceptible species. After the first case of a pet dog suspected of catching the virus from its owners was reported in France, the CDC tweaked its advice.
The first monkeypox infection in a dog has been reported, and this possible human-to-dog transmission is the first time an animal has been suspected of catching the disease from an infected human.
Rosamund Lewis, the World Health Organization’s lead on monkeypox, told The Washington Post on August 15, “This is the first incident that we’re learning about where there is human-to-animal transmission. So, on a number of levels, this is new information. It’s not surprising information, and it’s something that we’ve been on the watch out for.”
On June 23, the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. It spreads in the United States and Europe among people who have not visited regions where it is known to be endemic. It is conveyed between humans through close contact with lesions or bodily fluids.
“It’s important to remember that it’s currently unknown if an infected dog may spread the monkeypox virus back to humans,” Lewis added. Researchers called for “further investigation on secondary transmissions via pets,” or instances in which an infected pet spreads the virus to additional humans, in a description of the first-of-its-kind case, which was published Aug. 10 in the journal The Lancet.
According to an article in The Lancet, the newest cases included two males who were examined at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, France, early in June. The men share a residence and are not exclusive partners. Both had had monkeypox symptoms, such as rashes, exhaustion, headaches, and fever, roughly six days after engaging in sexual activity with others.
Their dog, a four-year-old Italian greyhound, acquired lesions and later tested positive for the monkeypox virus twelve days after they first displayed symptoms.
Although they claimed to have taken precautions to keep him from getting into contact with any other humans or animals once their own symptoms of monkeypox started, the guys admitted to sleeping next to their dog.
The virus can be carried by wild animals, such as rats and primates, in nations where monkeypox is an endemic disease. Monkeypox has also been found in captive primates in Europe after contact with sick imported animals, but cases of infection in household pets like dogs and cats have not previously been documented.
In addition to advising against direct contact with animals while suffering from monkeypox, the CDC also advises that dogs that have not been exposed to the virus be looked after by friends or relatives in another location until the owner or owners have fully recovered.