According to new advice from the UK Health Security Agency, monkeypox victims should avoid contact with their pets for 21 days (UKHSA).
So far, 106 people in the United Kingdom have been diagnosed with the virus.
Gerbils, hamsters, and other rodents may be especially vulnerable to the sickness, which might spread across the animal population.
According to the authorities, no instances have been found in pets so far, and the danger remains low.
Pet guinea pigs, rats, mice, and other rodents should be removed from the household of someone sick with monkeypox for 21 days and tested for the disease, according to UKHSA and other health authorities’ recommendations.
According to sales data, there are two million households in the UK owning a pet rodent of some form.
Other pets, such as dogs and cats, should be kept in the house and checked by a veterinarian on a regular basis to “ensure no clinical indications are noticed.”
According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), patients should avoid preparing food or grooming their pets “whenever possible” if this can be done by someone else in the house.
Separate guidance issued this week by the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) stated that monkeypox patients’ rodent pets should be “preferably” segregated and tested for the disease before their quarantine period ends.
According to the text, the animals should only be put down as a last resort if isolation is not possible. Larger animals, such as dogs, might be quarantined at home with frequent health checks.
According to scientists, nothing is known about how monkeypox might act on the pet population.
Rodents and a certain kind of squirrel, on the other hand, are more likely than people to catch and spread the disease.
The ECDC says a “spillover” occurrence, in which a human infects a companion animal, might lead to the virus spreading to European wildlife, albeit the danger is “very low.”
Monkeypox could become endemic zoonoses, which occurs when a disease moves between animal species and is permanently present in that new community.