First Canine Case of Monkeypox Confirmed Worldwide, Since its remarkable eruption across Europe and the United States back in May, the monkeypox virus has been spreading at an alarming rate, which has researchers perplexed.
Now, a case study that was published in The Lancet has brought about yet another shift in perception. A case has been confirmed for the very first time in a dog that was kept as a pet, and the infection almost certainly came from the owners.
Prior to this discovery, it was unknown whether household pets such as cats and dogs run the danger of becoming infected with the monkeypox virus. It is a zoonotic virus, which means that it is known to transfer from animals to people. However, there are no recorded reports of it spreading from people to animals.
Despite that, it was something that may happen at any time. The basic premise is that every mammal has the ability to develop and spread the virus. Because of this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released recommendations back in June advising humans who have monkeypox to avoid contact with pets until they have fully recovered.
According to The Lancet, the two human patients had indeed been careful to isolate their dog from other pets and humans as soon as their own symptoms began; however, they continued to let the pet sleep in their bed. This is despite the fact that they had been careful to isolate their dog from other pets and humans as soon as their own symptoms began.
Two weeks later, a PCR test confirmed the presence of monkeypox in the four-year-old greyhound that had grown the telltale lesions of the virus on its belly and anus.
The monkeypox virus strains that were found in the dog and one of its humans showed 100 percent sequence homology, which indicates that they were almost certainly related to each other, and both were examples of the human monkeypox virus type 1 (hMPXV-1) clade, lineage B.1.
DNA analysis revealed this information. Since April, this variant has been spreading across Europe and the United States, and it is estimated that there are close to 2,000 people afflicted in Paris alone, which is where the dog and its owners live.
In the case report, it is stated that “to the best of our knowledge,” the kinetics of symptom onset in both patients and, subsequently, in their dogs suggest human-to-dog transmission of the monkeypox virus.
“Given the dog’s skin and mucosal lesions, as well as the positive monkeypox virus PCR results from anal and mouth swabs, we hypothesize a real canine disease, as opposed to a simple carriage of the virus by intimate contact with people or airborne transmission,” the researchers wrote.
In other words, there is a need to approach the likelihood of monkeypox in pets as a potentially deadly disease, and the authors emphasize the significance of isolating animals from people who are infected with monkeypox.
“Infected persons should not take care of exposed pets,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns. “The person who has monkeypox should avoid direct contact with the exposed animal, and if at all feasible, they should ask another household member to care for the animal until the person who has monkeypox has fully recovered.”
“If you have monkeypox and must care for your healthy dogs during home isolation, wash your hands before and after caring for them or use a hand rub that contains alcohol,” they advise. “It is also necessary to cover any skin rash to the best extent possible (i.e. long sleeves, long pants), as well as wear gloves and a well-fitting mask or respirator while providing care for your animals,” says the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).