Couple Likely Gave Monkeypox to Their Dog

WHO's Rosamund Lewis says it's first apparent case of human-to-animal transmission
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2022 12:16 PM CDT
Couple Likely Gave Monkeypox to Their Dog
A stock photo of an Italian greyhound.   (Getty Images/premat)

What appears to be the first known human-to-pet transmission of monkeypox has surfaced in France. A nonexclusive, cohabiting couple developed symptoms of the virus, which has been appearing mostly in men who have sex with other men, a few days after sleeping with other partners, reports CBS News. Twelve days later, the two men noticed their dog was also exhibiting symptoms, including skin lesions and pustules. Though they'd kept their dog away from other people and animals, the 4-year-old male Italian greyhound had continued to sleep in the couple's bed.

Testing later revealed the couple and the dog had monkeypox, according to a report published in the medical journal Lancet. "Medical staffers matched one of the dog owners' infections to the one detected in the animal," reports the Washington Post. "This is the first incident that we're learning about where there is human-to-animal transmission," Rosamund Lewis, the World Health Organization's lead on monkeypox, tells the outlet. But "it's something that we've been on the watch out for."

The CDC has updated its website to reflect that dogs are among the 10 known animals susceptible to catching the virus, which is transmitted between humans through "close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact," including contact with scabs or bodily fluids from an infected person, per the agency. The CDC previously warned that people infected with monkeypox who must care for pets should wear gloves and a mask, as well as clothing that covers skin rashes, while keeping the animals away from contaminated articles. "Our findings should prompt debate on the need to isolate pets from monkeypox virus-positive individuals," reads the report in the Lancet. (More monkeypox stories.)

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