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Monkeypox-infected dog prompts WHO warning | Abroad

The medical journal The Lancet reported the infection of a four-year-old Italian greyhound in Paris. The animal, owned by two men who live together and are in an open relationship, suffered from several symptoms consistent with monkeypox, such as the characteristic blisters.

People with monkeypox are now advised to isolate themselves not only from other people, but also from pets, according to official WHO guidelines. Rosamund Lewis, an expert on monkeypox at the WHO, told reporters on Wednesday that human-to-animal transmission can be particularly dangerous “because the virus can mutate in a different way.”

The contamination of one dog is not necessarily cause for concern, says Lewis. “It becomes dangerous when the virus spreads further to another animal species, which infects another animal species. Then the virus can mutate quickly,” said the expert.

Monkeypox was originally identified in 1958, the first human being infected in 1970. Until recently, the virus only circulated in countries in central Africa, but since the beginning of this year, more than 35,000 infections have been reported in 92 countries, according to the WHO. So last month, the organization declared monkeypox an international public health hazard.

The virus spreads through skin-to-skin contact, but it can also be spread by sharing clothes or sheets. Men who have sex with men are currently mainly infected with the virus, but anyone can contract it.

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