The CDC updated its monkeypox guidance on pets after a new study reported that a dog tested positive for the virus in France.
Why it counts: Monkeypox infection among domesticated animals, such as dogs and cats, had never previously been reported, note researchers from Sorbonne University in the study published in The Lancet medical journal.
- Rosamund Lewis, the World Health Organization’s lead on monkeypox, told the Washington Post Monday that the case of the Italian greyhound marked “the first incident that we’re learning about where it is human to animal transmission.”
Yes, but, according to Lewis, scientists don’t know whether the four-year-old male greyhound in the study or any dog can transmit the infection to anyone else.
Be smart: “This is an example where most pets will not be at risk. It may only be those who are actually in the household of someone who’s infected,” Lewis said.
- The study calls for further investigation of secondary pet transmissions, noting: “Our findings should prompt debate on the need to isolate pets from monkeypox virus-positive individuals.”
Driving the news: The greyhound in Paris tested positive 12 days after the two men it lived with had first displayed symptoms. According to the researchers, the dog’s symptoms included lesions and pustules on its abdomen.
- Medical workers matched the infection of one of the men to the one detected in the dog via DNA analysis.
- The men reported co-sleeping with their pet “but had been careful to prevent their dog from contact with other pets or humans from the onset of their own symptoms,” the study notes.
- “To the best of our knowledge, the kinetics of symptom onset in both patients and, subsequently, in their dog suggest human-to-dog transmission of monkeypox virus,” per the study.
What they’re saying: “Infected animals can spread the Monkeypox virus to people, and it is possible that people who are infected can spread the Monkeypox virus to animals through close contact,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states in its guidance.
- “While we do not know all the symptoms infected animals may have, watch the animal for potential signs of illness, including lethargy, lack of appetite, coughing, nasal secretions or crust, bloating, fever, and pimple- or blister-like skin rash.”
Of note: Monkeypox is transmitted through close, prolonged contact with an infected individual.
- “In endemic countries, only wild animals (rodents and primates) have been found to carry monkeypox virus.” However, the transmission has been reported in prairie dogs in the U.S. and captive primates in Europe, per the Sorbonne University study.
The big picture: The WHO declared monkeypox a global emergency last month, as it spread to more than 70 countries.
- The Biden administration declared the outbreak a public health emergency earlier this month to give officials more flexibility to tackle the spread of the virus.
- The number of confirmed cases in the U.S. surpassed 10,000 last week as the U.S. government began a strategy of stretching its available monkeypox vaccine doses, per Axios’ Tina Reed.