A recent study indicates that a same-sex male couple could have given monkeypox to their four-year-old greyhound, as questions over the virus’ human-to-animal transmission still loom.
The Lancet reported the finding in a medical journal entry published on Wednesday, which observed that the couple’s greyhound started contracting the virus nearly two weeks into their own cases.
Then, using PCR testing protocol, the researchers confirmed the dog had monkeypox. According to the report, the two men stated that they let their dog sleep in their bed but consciously tried to avoid public interactions with other pets and owners.
“This case establishes the possibility of human-to-domestic pet transmission,” University of Wisconsin Medical School head Dr. Jonathan Temte informed Newsweek.
“Many species of animals can be infected with monkeypox, but—for the vast majority—we simply do not know how susceptible they are. Furthermore, we do not know the risk for transmission from a pet (such as a dog) to a human ,” he added.
Infectious disease expert Amesh Adalja told the outlet that the findings were not particularly surprising, as the virus likely originated in an animal of some kind. However, he assured that it is likely an unusual phenomenon.
“The danger with monkeypox passing into animals in non-endemic countries is that it allows the virus to establish a domestic reservoir outside of its usual zone of endemicity,” he said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 11,177 confirmed monkeypox cases in the United States as of Friday. Worldwide, 12 people have died from the virus, primarily in Spain.
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