Saturday, February 24, 2024

Monkeypox: People with it should avoid their pets

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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French health authorities recommended, on Thursday, when a person is infected with the monkeypox virus, to avoid contact with his pet as much as possible.

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After the number of people infected with this virus increased in many countries outside the endemic African regions, including France, the National Agency for Health Security (Ansis) was urgently seized on the issue of its pets.

If defined, lagomorphs, such as rabbits or rabbits, are receptive and sensitive under experimental conditions, particularly rabbits.

The sciurids, including squirrels and prairie dogs, appear to be a receptive and sensitive family, perhaps most at risk of contamination by humans. However, possession and sale of these animals is not authorized in France.

Pet ferrets, such as brown rats, mice, guinea pigs, or even hamsters, for their part, seem very receptive to the virus in adulthood, but may be so for the youngest animals.

There is a lack of data on rodents and dogs. For cats, there is only one serological study with negative results. At this point, no clinical cases have been reported in these three species.

In light of these data, when a person is infected with monkeypox virus, the ANSES recommends “contact between the animal and the infected person should be avoided as much as possible, ideally by the care of the animal by another person during the period of isolation”. And “before each contact with your animal,” she advises, “you should wash your hands, then wear gloves and a disposable mask.”

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Pending additional data on pet allergy and tolerability, “maximum vigilance” is also recommended for veterinarians who receive symptomatic animals.

By the end of 2022, new expertise will complement these initial elements. It will relate to the assessment of the risk of transmission of the virus to animals around homes (particularly rodents). An assessment of the risks of importing the virus by infected animals will also be carried out.

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