You can spread monkeypox to your pet, but the risk is low

The CDC recommends avoiding close contact with your pet if you are infected.

WASHINGTON — More than 40,000 people have been infected with monkeypox worldwide since the outbreak began this spring. With more than 14,000, the vast majority of reported cases are in the United States.

VERIFY has been at the forefront of fact-checking what is true and what is not when it comes to monkeypox and the rumors that spread online.

THE QUESTION:

Can monkeypox be spread from people to pets?

THE SOURCES:

THE ANSWER:

This is true.

Yes, it is possible, but the risk is low.

WHAT WE FIND:

Our VERIFY researchers spoke with two infectious disease experts, Dr. Amesh Adalja of Johns Hopkins University and Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University, and consulted information from the CDC.

the CDC confirm which can spread monkeypox to a pet through close contact, such as petting, hugging, and sharing sleeping areas. That’s why the agency says people with monkeypox should avoid contact with animals.

Pets that have had close contact with a person symptomatic with monkeypox should be kept indoors and away from other animals and people for 21 days after the most recent contact. agency says. “Infected people should not care for exposed pets. The person with monkeypox should avoid close contact with the exposed animal and, when possible, have another family member care for the animal until the person with monkeypox has fully recovered.”

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The reverse is also true according to the CDC: People can get sick from their pets.

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So far, at least one case has been reported of a dog getting sick from its owners, according to an article published in a medical journal called The Lancet.

Still, our experts agree the risk is low.

“The average person’s dog and cat are at absolutely no risk of getting this infection,” Schaffner said.

Adalja said the biggest problem is when a disease becomes endemic in wildlife.

“While people may be really focused on domestic animals, like… their pet dog or their pet cat, what we’re really concerned about is wild animals like rats, like squirrels,” said Dr. Adalja. “Those are things you can’t control, the spread of infections. So the danger is that the virus spills over into one of those species and then you can’t eradicate it.”

The CDC says it is still learning which mammals are susceptible to the virus, but says “we must assume that any mammal can be infected.” For example, it is unknown if cats can become infected; however, they they can being infected with other orthopoxviruses, the CDC said.

The agency write “We currently do not believe that monkeypox poses a high risk to pets. We continue to monitor the situation closely.”

So we can VERIFY, yes, it can spread to pets; but, pets are not at high risk at this time.

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The CDC has more information on what to do if your pet shows signs of monkeypox or if you think your pet has monkeypox. your website.

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