The first case of monkeypox in animals is confirmed. Should we be worried?
A dog in France has been infected with monkeypox in what is believed to be the first transmission of the disease from humans to pets, according to a study published by the Lancet medical journal.
The animal, an Italian greyhound, is believed to have contracted the virus from sharing a bed with its owners who were infected.
The pet developed pustular eruptions on her skin 12 days after the onset of symptoms.
The monkeypox epidemic is spreading globally, and in France it is mostly confined to the Paris region where this case occurred.
For the first time, the virus is circulating widely outside the Central and West African countries where it is endemic.
Monkeypox can be spread through sexual contact, but it is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI), it is transmitted through close contact with wounds, breathing and contact with the clothes and bedding of the infected person.
Can you catch monkeypox from your pet?
Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease, meaning it spreads from animals to humans.
In African countries where monkeypox is endemic, it is common for locals to catch monkeypox from rodent scratches. Monkeypox is also easily spread from animal to animal.
How can I protect my pet from monkeypox?
Public health advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) is to not sleep with pets, use gloves when handling them and practice careful disinfection if you contract monkeypox.
The best case scenario is to have someone else take care of them during your period of isolation. It is also vital to keep any rodents in cages and not allow them to roam the house as they easily catch the disease.
Most importantly, take steps to seek medical attention from a veterinarian if you think your pet is unwell; however, you should call the veterinary clinic ahead of time to let them know about the monkeypox situation.