(Daily360.com) – Monkeypox continues to be an official global health emergency as officials struggle to contain outbreaks in multiple locations. Now, a worrisome new development suggests it may become even more challenging to slow the spread. Officials in France have diagnosed a dog with monkeypox after the animal came into close contact with its owners.
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The Lancet, a peer-reviewed medical journal, recently detailed what was likely the first case of human-to-animal transmission of the monkeypox virus. The report notes that a 4-year-old greyhound living with two male companions tested positive for the illness shortly after becoming symptomatic. The animal had no prior medical history.
After conducting a DNA test, scientists confirmed that both the two men and their beloved pet were infected with the same virus. The pair explained that once they began exhibiting symptoms, they immediately self-isolated with their dog, avoiding interaction with any other people and pets. They did, however, allow the canine to sleep in their bed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) previously mentioned that humans could transmit the virus to cats, dogs, and other animals. They believe the same transfer of illness can also occur in the other direction, meaning that pets may be able to give the disease to their human caretakers.
There are serious concerns about how an increased rate of zoonosis could impact outbreak control. The fact that animals can spread the virus to other pets and even strays could also trigger outbreaks in communities or through vet clinics and animal shelters. This spread could eventually influence disease rates in humans. Furthermore, effective treatments for cats, dogs, and most other animals simply don’t exist yet.
The CDC is urging anyone showing symptoms of monkeypox to refrain from kissing, cuddling, hugging, or petting their animal companions while also discouraging the animals from licking them. Experts with the organization also say people should avoid sharing food and sleeping areas with their pets if they have infection.
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