Pet owners who have contracted monkeypox are reportedly being warned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to keep their distance from their beloved animals
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Pet owners with monkeypox are reportedly being advised to avoid close contact with their animals over fears the virus could spread to them, with dire consequences for wildlife.
The advice will be issued later this week by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs warning of a potential risk of human-to-animal transmission, the Daily Mail reports.
It follows that the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC) has determined that the virus has the potential to spread to pets and then into the wild.
Seven more cases of monkeypox have been identified in England, according to the latest figures from health officials.
The UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) said the new cases bring the number of cases in the UK to 78 since May 7.
Among these cases, 77 were identified in England and one case was reported in Scotland. As of May 24, no cases had been identified in Wales or Northern Ireland.
People with unusual rashes or lesions, particularly if they have had a new sex partner, have been urged to contact NHS 111 or their local sexual health clinic.
However, health officials stressed that people should call ahead before attending in person.
Justine Shotton, President of the British Veterinary Association, supported the advice of people caring for their pets.
“It would be a sensible decision to keep your distance from a pet during quarantine,” she said Daily Mail.
“If I were diagnosed with monkeypox, I would do anything to limit contact, like ask a friend or relative to take care of it.”
She added: “There is currently no evidence of transmission between humans and cats and dogs, but we do know that rabbits and rodents are susceptible.
The ECDC said it was important “to deal with exposed domestic animals and to prevent the disease from being transmitted to wild animals,” the reported daily record.
They warned that rodents could be effective hosts for the disease and spread the virus more effectively than humans.
The announcement states: “If human-to-animal transmission occurs and the virus spreads in an animal population, there is a risk that the disease will become endemic in Europe.
“Rodents, and particularly species of the family Sciuridae (squirrels), are more likely than humans to be suitable hosts, and transmission from humans to (pet) animals is theoretically possible.
“Such a spill-over event could potentially lead to the virus becoming established in European wildlife and the disease becoming an endemic zoonosis. The probability of such a spill-over event is very low.”
Monkeypox is typically transmitted through physical contact between people, although it can also spread through contaminated food, coughing or sneezing, and contaminated animals.
The UK Health Authority called the spread “significant and of concern” but added that “the risk to the UK population remains low”.
said Prof David Robertson of the Glasgow Center for Virus Research The Telegraph that the virus spreading to animals is a “justified concern”.
He said: “It seems sensible to monitor all animals/pets that infected people come into contact with.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/monkeypox-patients-must-keep-away-27068118 Monkeypox patients must "stay away from pets" amid fears the virus could spread to animals