(The Hill) — A medical journal has published evidence of the first suspected case of human-to-pet transmission of the monkeypox virus. A dog living with two men in France who were infected with the virus began exhibiting symptoms 12 days after they did, according to The Lancet.
The 4-year-old male Italian greyhound, which had no previous medical disorders, tested positive after showing symptoms including lesions and pustules on its abdomen. Through DNA testing, researchers determined the viruses infecting the two men and the dogs were both monkeypox.
Since they became symptomatic, the two men had kept their dog away from other people and other pets, but had slept with the animal in their bed.
“Our findings should prompt debate on the need to isolate pets from monkeypox virus-positive individuals,” the report reads.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned against possible human-to-pet transmission in their monkeypox guidance.
“Infected animals can spread Monkeypox virus to people, and it is possible that people who are infected can spread Monkeypox virus to animals through close contact,” the guidance reads.
Those who are infected are advised to avoid activities with their pet including petting, cuddling, hugging, kissing, licking, sharing sleeping areas and sharing food.
While the full symptoms of monkeypox in pets are unknown, watch for “potential signs of illness including lethargy, lack of appetite, coughing, nasal secretions or crust, bloating, fever, and/or pimple- or blister-like skin rash,” the CDC warns.
Monkeypox spreads when people have close, physical contact with an infected person’s lesions, their clothing or bedsheets. Most people recover without needing treatment, but the lesions can be extremely painful and more severe cases can result in complications including brain inflammation and death.
Globally, there have been more than 31,000 cases of monkeypox reported in nearly 90 countries. Last month, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak to be a global emergency and American officials have classified their epidemic as a national emergency.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.