(CTN News) – Global health agencies advise people with monkeypox to avoid contact with pets for three weeks out of concern that the animals may catch the infection and spread it. There have not yet been any reported cases of monkeypox in animals, however, infection is still possible. On top of all of this, the UK’s Health Security Agency (UKHSA) warned residents that rodents including hamsters, gerbils, and others could be particularly susceptible to viral infections.
The British Humane Society recommended that pet rodents in homes where infected people live be temporarily removed for a limited quarantine period (21 days) and tested for infection, particularly when infected human contacts have had close direct and prolonged contact with the animal or its bedding and/or litter.
The monkeypox virus is most commonly found in tropical areas of west and central Africa. Most infected individuals recover within a few weeks. It has been spreading at an unprecedented rate since its discovery and has already affected more than 200 people in more than 20 countries. According to health officials, the virus is commonly contracted by people who handle monkeys or eat undercooked meat.