Dog contracts monkeypox in 1st reported human-to-pet transmission, report says

ByJ.R. Stone WABC logo
Tuesday, August 16, 2022
Dog contracts monkeypox in 1st reported human-to-pet transmission
Doctors in France believe a dog has contracted monkeypox from sharing the same bed as their owners who tested positive for the virus.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Doctors in France believe a dog has contracted the monkeypox virus from a human.

News of this was published in a medical journal called The Lancet and now doctors here in the states are reacting.

"It's really not too surprising," says Stanford's infectious disease specialist Dr. Dean Winslow.

"Dog slept in their bed and got it 12 days after," said UCSF's Dr. Peter Chin-Hong.

WATCH: Can monkeypox virus spread on clothing or grocery items? An expert weighs in

Could you get monkeypox by touching objects, fabrics, and surfaces used by someone who is infected? Yes, but the risk is low.

That dog was sleeping in the bed of two men who tested positive for monkeypox and were not exclusive with each other.

We spoke with Dr. Winslow Monday.

"Recognizing that these other animals that we share our lives and homes with can potentially be infected with human pathogens. It means that we should probably take similar sorts of precautions than we would with our human loved ones as well," said Dr. Winslow.

The CDC says that if you get monkeypox you should avoid contact with animals including your pets.

The CEO of San Francisco General Hospital was asked about this at a press conference Monday but says the focus right now is helping 'people' who are most at risk.

VIDEO: 7 ways to reduce your risk of monkeypox

The Biden administration declared the current monkeypox outbreak to be a public health emergency in the U.S. on Thursday afternoon.

"There maybe isolated cases in other types of populations but really right we're looking for the vast majority of people where cases are occurring and trying to get those people in for care," said Dr. Susan Ehrlich.

The CDC says that if a pet has been exposed to monkeypox, they should be kept away from other animals and people for 21 days.

"Those of us who have pets that love them and want to take care of them it probably behooves us to not have close physical contact with them until these skin lesions have dried up and crusted over, until they are really not contagious anymore. Certainly if you do have active monkeypox and active lesions it's probably not a good idea to sleep with your pet," said Dr. Winslow.

If you do fear that your pet may have monkeypox, the CDC says it's important to contact a veterinarian who can decide on the next steps, and if a monkeypox test is needed.

More stories on monkeypox here.