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Now, dog infected with monkeypox: What we know about human-to-animal transmission

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Last week, The Lancet reported that two men in Paris noticed lesions on their Italian greyhound 12 days after they were infected with monkeypox

Now, dog infected with monkeypox: What we know about human-to-animal transmission

Representational image. Pixabay

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned infected people to stay away from household pets after the first human-to-animal transmission of monkeypox was reported in Paris.

Last week, The Lancet reported that two men in Paris noticed lesions on their Italian greyhound 12 days after they were infected with monkeypox.

Earlier, monkeypox infections were detected in rodents but scientists say that this is the first case where a domesticated animal has been infected with the virus.

Let’s take a closer look at how human-to-animal transmissions work:

How was the dog infected?

The two men, who live together, were infected with monkeypox in early June.

Twelve days after the men started to develop signs of monkeypox, their four-year-old dog also began showed symptoms.

Both of them said that they co-slept with their dog on the same bed. According to The Lancet report, genetic analysis revealed that the dog had been infected with the same virus as the two men.

Although it is not clear yet how exactly the human-to-dog transmission happened, among human the virus spreads through close contact with other infected people.

Rosamund Lewis, WHO’s technical lead for monkeypox said, “This is the first case reported of human-to-animal transmission … and we believe it is the first instance of a canine being infected”.

Lewis further said that previously people in US have been infected with the virus through pet dogs but this is the first case where humans have transmitted the virus to their pet dog.

Not surprising, says WHO

Rosamund Lewis said ever since the case was reported, experts from WHO have been working with World Organisation of Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organisation to get more information.

Now dog infected with monkeypox What we know about humantoanimal transmission

WHO says this is the first case of human-to-animal transmission. AFP

According to a CNN health report, Lewis said, “On a number of levels, this is new information,” she said. “It’s not surprising information, and it’s something that we’ve been on the watch out for.

It’s not fully understood yet if the infected dog will be able to transmit the virus back to humans or not.

Can animals get infected by humans?

Yes.

According to a research carried out by the National Library of Medicine, canines can get infected by human influenza viruses. However, once infected they don’t show any symptoms or actually fall ill as humans do.

In the past, a small number of dogs have tested positive for COVID.

 

As per a Healthline report, the dogs were infected after they came in close contact with their COVID- positive patients.

Other than viruses, dogs can also develop ringworms, a fungal infection that affects their skin and is spread through contact with the fungus.

According to a report on The Guardian, when viruses successfully break the barrier of cross-species transmission, the risk of mutation increases. Lewis said, “as soon as the virus moves into a different setting in a different population, there is obviously a possibility that it will develop differently and mutate differently”.

What should be done if pets show signs of monkeypox?

According to Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, pet-owners should look out for possible symptoms of monkeypox like lethargy, signs of appetite, coughing, nasal or eye secretion, blister and rash.

The CDC also advices people to take their pets to the veterinarian if an animal appears sick within 21 days after of having contact with an infected person.

A sick dog must be isolated as soon as it develops symptoms of monkeypox for at least 21 days or until it has fully recovered.

Soiled laundry and utensils should be properly disposed off to ensure that the virus is not transmitted back to humans.

With inputs from agencies

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