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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance on monkeypox to include dogs as animals that can get the virus. The CDC modified its guidance after the first case of a pet dog suspected of having contracted the virus from its owners was documented in France.
The scientists said in an article published in the medical journal The Lancet last week that they had found evidence of human-to-dog transmission of monkeypox. Before that, it was unclear whether the virus could be transmitted to dogs.
Monkeypox was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization on June 23. It is transmitted between humans through close contact with injuries or bodily fluids, and is spreading in the United States and Europe among people who have not traveled to areas where it is known to be endemic.
The case in France involves two male couples who live together. 12 days after they first showed symptoms, your dog, a four-year-old Italian greyhound also developed lesions and later tested positive for the monkeypox virus.
The men reported sleeping next to their dog.though they said they had been careful to keep him from coming into contact with other people or pets since his own monkeypox symptoms began.
In countries where monkeypox is endemic, wild animals, including rodents and primates, can carry the virus. Captive primates in Europe have also contracted monkeypox through contact with imported animals that were sick, but infections in domestic pets such as dogs and cats had not previously been reported.
“To our knowledge, the onset of symptoms in both patients and subsequently in their dog suggests human-to-dog transmission of monkeypox virus,” the researchers said in the study published in The Lancet.
The scientists called for more research on the secondary transmission of monkeypox through pets.
“Our findings should prompt discussion about the need to isolate pets from people who are positive for monkeypox virus,” they wrote.
The CDC recommends that people with monkeypox avoid close contact with animals and that pets who have not been exposed to the virus be cared for by friends or relatives in another home until the owner or owners fully recover.
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