Monkeypox patients must ‘limit contact’ with pets amid fears virus could spread to animals

Monkeypox: Dr Chris outlines the main symptoms

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According to the report, pet owners with monkeypox will reportedly be advised to avoid close contact with their animals over fears that the virus could spread throughout the animal kingdom. The advice will be issued by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs later this week with the warning of a potential risk of human-to-animal transmission laid out, reports the Daily Mail.

It follows the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) having stated that the virus has the potential to spread to pets and then into nature.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has detected 7 additional cases of monkeypox in England.

The latest cases bring the total number confirmed in England since May 7 to 77, as of May 24.

Public Health Scotland confirmed on Monday it had identified one monkeypox case, taking the total cases identified in the UK to 78.

As of May 24, no cases have been identified in Wales or Northern Ireland.

Despite further cases being detected, the risk to the UK population remains low.

People with unusual rashes or lesions, particularly if they have had a new sexual partner, have been urged to contact NHS 111 or their local sexual health clinic.

But health officials stressed people should phone ahead before attending in person.

Justine Shotton, president of the British Veterinary Association, backed the advice of people taking care with their pets.

She told the publication: “It would be a sensible decision to keep your distance from a pet while in quarantine.

“If I was diagnosed with monkeypox I would do whatever I could to limit contact, such as asking a friend or relative to take care of it.”

She added: “There is currently no evidence of transmission between humans and cats and dogs but we know rabbits and rodents are susceptible.”

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UKHSA health protection teams are contacting people considered to be high-risk contacts of confirmed cases and are advising those who have been risk assessed and remain well to isolate at home for up to 21 days.

In addition, UKHSA has purchased supplies of a safe smallpox vaccine (Imvanex, supplied by Bavarian Nordic) and this is being offered to close contacts of those diagnosed with monkeypox to reduce the risk of symptomatic infection and severe illness.

The ECDC said it is important to “manage exposed pets and prevent the disease from being transmitted to wildlife”, reported the Daily Record.

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