SAN FRANCISCO– Doctors in France believe a dog contracted the monkeypox virus from a human.
News of this was published in a medical journal called The Lancet and now doctors here in the United States are responding.
“It’s really not too surprising,” says Stanford infectious disease specialist Dr. Dean Winslow.
“The dog slept in his bed and had him 12 days later,” said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong of UCSF.
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This dog slept in the bed of two men who tested positive for monkeypox and were not exclusive of each other.
We spoke with Dr. Winslow on Monday.
“Recognizing that these other animals that we share our lives and homes with can potentially be infected with human pathogens. That means we should probably take the same kinds of precautions that we would with our human relatives,” said the Dr Winslow.
The CDC says that if you get monkeypox, you should avoid contact with animals, including your pets.
The CEO of San Francisco General Hospital was asked about it at a press conference on Monday, but said the current focus is on helping “people” most at risk.
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“There may be isolated cases in other types of populations, but we really are looking for the vast majority of people in whom cases occur and trying to get them treated,” Dr. Susan Ehrlich said.
The CDC states that if a pet has been exposed to monkeypox, it should be kept away from other animals and people for 21 days.
“Those of us who have pets that love them and want to care for them, it’s probably incumbent on us not to have close physical contact with them until those skin lesions have dried up and covered with a scab, until they’re really no longer contagious. Certainly if you have active monkeypox and active lesions, it’s probably not a good idea to sleep with your pet,” said Dr Winslow.
If you’re concerned your pet may have monkeypox, the CDC says it’s important to contact a veterinarian who can decide next steps and whether a monkeypox test is needed.
More stories about monkeypox here.
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