Fears monkeypox can spread to pets as experts say exposed animals should be 'managed'

24 May 2022, 11:48 | Updated: 24 May 2022, 12:28

Experts said pets that are exposed to the virus ought to be managed
Experts said pets that are exposed to the virus ought to be managed. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Experts fear monkeypox is capable of spreading to pets and that could push the virus into becoming endemic in Europe.

Transmission between humans and animals is "theoretically" possible and rodents and squirrels are likely to be even better hosts than people.

It is unknown how many animals are capable of contracting monkeypox, which saw cases triple to 57 in Britain on Monday.

But the European Centre for Disease Control said in a report: "There is a potential risk of human-to-animal transmission in Europe, therefore close intersectoral collaboration between human and veterinary public health authorities… is needed to manage exposed pets and prevent the disease from being transmitted in wildlife."

No cases have been reported in pets so far and the threat to the population from monkeypox is thought to be low."

Read more: Number of monkeypox cases in England triples to 56 as Scotland confirms first case

But it added: "Rodents, and particularly species of the family of Sciuridae (squirrels) are likely to be suitable hosts, more so than humans, and transmission from humans to (pet) animals is theoretically possible.

"Such a spill-over event could potentially lead to the virus establishing in European wildlife and the disease becoming an endemic zoonosis."

But it went on: "The probability of this spill-over event is very low."

The UK Health Security Agency has said that the virus does not normally pass easily between people, but it can transmit in close person-to-person contact or through contact with items used by someone infected with monkeypox.

That could include clothes, bedding or utensils.

However, it is usually "self-limiting" and most people recover in a few weeks.

Anyone with unusual rashes or lesions on a part of their body should contact NHS 111 or their local sexual health service.

Read more: High risk contacts of UK monkeypox cases urged to self-isolate for 3 weeks

A notable amount of cases have been detected in gay and bisexual men, and that community has been asked to be alert of symptoms.

People who have had direct unprotected contact with a case will be advised to self-isolate for 21 days, including not going into the workplace.

Supplies of a smallpox vaccine, Imvanex, have also been bought to be offered to close contacts of someone who has caught monkeypox.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

The Israeli Iron Dome air defence system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran

Israel hails ‘success’ in blocking Iran’s unprecedented attack

Disability advocate Charlotte Anderson advises people on how to apply for PIP.

YouTuber who fills out PIP applications for £650 each says she has ‘only ever lost one claim in six years’

Planning documents show the owners of the pub want to rebuild it in a new location.

Owners of Crooked House agree to rebuild ‘Britain’s wonkiest pub’ - providing it's in a new location

Joe Biden has reaffirmed the US's commitment to defending Israel's security.

Biden reaffirms ‘ironclad support' of Israel as he plans G7 meeting to coordinate ‘diplomatic response to Iran attack’

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

‘Together we will win’: Netanyahu vows to fight off attacks from Iran after over 300 drones and missiles fired at Israel

Israeli's military have fought off a massive Iranian drone and missile attack - downing more than 200 weapons launched by the hostile state with the help of ace RAF pilots.

Israel fights off massive Iran attack - downing over 200 missiles and drones with help of RAF

Plans have been drawn up for an evacuation of Brits from the Middle East. Defence Secretary Grant Shapps (l) and protesters outside the British Embassy in Tehran (r)

Brits living in the Middle East could be rescued by the Royal Marines in 'Dunkirk-style' evacuation

The knifeman who killed six people in a rampage at a Sydney shopping centre has been named as 40-year-old Joel Cauchi (left)

Pictured: Sydney knifeman, 40, who killed six people before being shot dead by brave policewoman

Iranian drones and missiles have arrived in Israel with explosions in the skies - as officials warn of a "significant response" to the massive attack.

Explosions in skies and sirens across Jerusalem amid Iranian attack - as Israel warns of 'significant response'

USS Bataan which is heading to the Eastern Mediterranean (main) and Joe Biden (r)

US sends amphibious warship and 2,500 Marines into the Eastern Mediterranean after Iran attacks Israel

US and UK forces are helping defend Israel from Iranian drones and missiles after a massive attack was launched.

British and American jets 'shoot down Iranian drones' as Rishi Sunak slams Iran for 'reckless' attack against Israel

President Biden is holding an emergency national security meeting as the US prepares its response to Iran's drone and missile attack on Israel.

President Biden holds high-stakes emergency meeting as Iran launches full-scale attack on Israel

Iron Dome Rocket Interceptions of Hamas Rockets- Southern Israel- Night Attack On Ashdod City

Israel closes airspace as it braces for Iranian drone attack

Iranian attack drones are 'en route to Israel', according to an Israeli Defence Force spokesperson.

Iran launches massive drone and missile attack on Israel as war in Middle East escalates

A mother who was stabbed while trying to defend her baby from the Sydney shopping centre knifeman has been pictured for the first time.

Pictured: Mother, 38, killed defending her baby from Sydney shopping centre massacre

Exclusive
Nearly 18,000 police officers were hired virtually by forces, prompting fears of another Wayne Couzens, LBC can reveal.

Nearly 18,000 police officers hired without face-to-face interviews by forces prompting fears of new Wayne Couzens