Evidence of the spread from humans to dogs, published in the Lancet, could lead to further advice on how pets should be cared for if they are in a living space with an infected person, Rosamund Lewis, World Health Organization official on monkeypox, told the Washington Post on Monday.
Monkeypox is usually spread from human to human through direct contact with infectious rashes, scabs, or bodily fluids. It can also be transmitted through respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, hugging, or having sex.
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The potential case of human-to-dog transmission was discovered in a 4-year-old Italian greyhound 12 days after its owners had symptoms of monkeypox, according to the Lancet report.
The dog had lesions on the skin and mucous membranes, pustules on the abdomen and a fine anal ulceration. Medical staff matched one of the dog owners’ infections to that detected in the animal.
Researchers said the dog belonged to two men who had a non-exclusive cohabiting relationship. One of the partners is a 44-year-old man and her partner is a 27-year-old man, according to the report.
The couple said they let their dog sleep in the bed with them and kept their pet from contact with other humans and pets due to the onset of their own symptoms.
Monkeypox has roared through communities of men who have sex with men, increasing anxiety and concern in cities with large populations of gay and bisexual men, and prompting the WHO to advise such groups to limit sexual partners to reduce the risk of exposure.
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About 99% of monkeypox cases worldwide are in men, and 98% of those cases involve men who have sex with men, Lewis said on Monday, shortly after the Lancet report was released.
Lewis also addressed the transmission of monkeypox virus between humans and animals, sharing that there have been cases of people contracting the virus from newly acquired pets.
“This is the first incident from which we learn that there is human-to-animal transmission,” she said of the findings of the Lancet report. “So on many levels this is new information. This is not surprising information, and it is something we are monitoring.
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In the report, the researchers called for further investigation into secondary transmissions via pets.
“Our findings should spark a debate about the need to isolate pets from monkeypox virus-positive individuals,” they said.
Lewis said the messaging encouraged people to isolate their pets from family members who may be infected with monkeypox – a precautionary approach as scientists continue to study the spread of the virus, he said. she declared.
“Again, we don’t know if this dog can go on to transmit the infection to someone else, for example,” she said. “This is an example where most pets will not be at risk. It can only be those that are actually in the household of an infected person.”