“Only wild animals (rodents and primates) carrying the monkeypox virus have been found in endemic countries,” the clinicians write in their letter to the Lancet, published last week.
“However, the transmission of monkeypox virus in prairie dogs has been described in the US and in captive primates in Europe in contact with imported infected animals.
“Infection in domestic animals, such as dogs and cats, has never been reported.
“To our knowledge, the kinetics of symptom onset in both patients and subsequently in their dogs suggest human-to-canine monkeypox virus transmission.”Read:New method to improve peripheral arterial disease tracking
The official guideline from the UK health authorities is that rodents (gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, etc.) from monkeypox should be isolated for three weeks in a safe location such as a government laboratory, as these animals are known to be easy to catch and spread monkeypox.
Isolate pets away from infected people
However, other pets, such as cats and dogs, can be isolated at home away from infected humans because it is very difficult for the virus to jump over the species barrier to dogs owned by humans.
Prof Tom Wenseleers, a professor of evolutionary biology at KU Leuven in Belgium, said the fact that the virus has infected a dog may mean that the pathogen, which has infected about 3,000 people in the UK, has recently mutated to spread more easily. to distribute, and in a slightly different way.
“[This case] I really wonder if anything has changed regarding the tropism and transmission patterns of the [monkeypox] lineage, recent or since 2017,” he wrote on Twitter.Read:Starch in green bananas can slash risk of some cancers by over 60%, study finds
Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) ruled that variants of monkeypox will no longer use African labels to “prevent crime”.