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WHO Issues Caution Against Pets Around Monkeypox Infected Persons

The World Health Organisation has warned against exposing pets to people who have been affected by the monkeypox disease.

According to the WHO, it had established a convincing ground to conclude that the virus had properties of human-to-dog transmission. This is a result of the first confirmed case of human-to-dog transmission of monkeypox – between two men and their Italian greyhound living together in Paris. Rosamund Lewis, the WHO’s technical lead for monkeypox, stated on Wednesday that the situation warranted taking pragmatic steps to ensure that animals were safe from infected people. 

 “This is the first case reported of human-to-animal transmission … and we believe it is the first instance of a canine being infected. Isolate from their pets. Waste management is critical” to lowering the risk of contaminating rodents and other animals outside the household,” Rosamund Lewis. 

Concerns have been raised about dangerous mutations of the virus after the first confirmed case of human-to-dog transmission. Viruses are known for quickly mutating to suit their new species when they inhabit them. WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan is most concerned about the new development.

“The more dangerous situation… is where a virus can move into a small mammal population with a high density of animals. It is through the process of one animal infecting the next and the next and the next that you see rapid evolution of the virus, he said. 

More than 35,000 people have been affected by the disease in what the WHO has described as the new global health emergency crisis. Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, speaking during his regular press briefing from Geneva, stressed on the need for countries to pull resources together to combat the crisis. “We remain concerned that the inequitable access to vaccines we saw during the Covid pandemic will be repeated and that the poorest will continue to be left behind,” said Tedros. 

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