Scientists have reported the first human-to-pet transmission of monkeypox when the dog of a gay French couple became infected after sharing a bed with its infected owners.
Early this summer, the 4-year-old Italian greyhound tested positive for the disease, not long after its French owners began experiencing symptoms, according to reports.
It is suspected that the gay men, ages 44 and 27, caught the virus as a result of having sexual contact with other men during their non-monogamous relationship.
“One man is Latino, aged 44 years, and lives with HIV with undetectable viral loads on antiretrovirals; the second man is White, aged 27 years, and HIV-negative,” according to a report published last week in the journal The Lancet.
After the owners developed ulcers, they went to the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris for treatment on June 10th.
The owners attended the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris on 10 June after developing ulcers. They tested positive for monkeypox.
The gay couple said that they continued to share their bed with their dog. Who said they had been careful to prevent their dog from contact with other pets or humans from the onset of their own symptoms
It took less than two weeks after they were told they had the viral disease before their dog started showing symptoms of monkeypox, including pustules on its stomach.
A PCR test showed that the dog had monkeypox, and genetic sequencing showed that the strain matched the strain that its owners had, according to The Lancet.
“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,” they wrote in a study published in the Lancet health journal this month.
“Our findings should prompt debate on the need to isolate pets from monkeypox virus-positive individuals. We call for further investigation on secondary transmissions via pets,” they added.
In light of recent studies suggesting that humans can spread monkeypox to their pets, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its guidance on the issue to include dogs among the animals that are susceptible to infection.
“People can get infected with the virus through direct contact with infected animals, often while hunting, trapping, and processing infected animals or the infected body parts and fluids of animals.,” the CDC stated in its guidance.
“We are still learning which species of animals can get monkeypox. While we do not know if reptiles, amphibians, or birds can get monkeypox, it is unlikely since these animals have not been found to be infected with other orthopoxviruses,” the CDC stated.
“We are still learning about which mammals are susceptible to infection. We should assume any mammal can be infected with Monkeypox virus. The table shows which animals can be infected with Monkeypox virus or other closely related orthopoxviruses.”