Monkeypox UK symptoms – Outbreak of contagious disease was ‘waiting to happen’, scientists say

Expert warning monkeypox could become ‘permanent’ if PETS get it

EXPERTS have warned monkeypox could become permanent in Europe if pets start catching it too.

There have still not been any reports of monkeypox in pets, but in a rapid risk assessment on Monday, the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) said it was important to “manage exposed pets and prevent the disease from being transmitted to wildlife”.

Issuing the update, the ECDC said: “If human-to-animal transmission occurs, and the virus spreads in an animal population, there is a risk that the disease could become endemic in Europe.

“Rodents, and particularly species of the family of Sciuridae (squirrels) are likely to be suitable hosts, more so than humans, and transmission from humans to (pet) animals is theoretically possible.

“Such a spill-over event could potentially lead to the virus establishing in European wildlife and the disease becoming an endemic zoonosis. The probability of this spill-over event is very low.”

Prof David Robertson, of the Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, toldthe Telegraphthis was a “valid concern”.

He said: “It would seem sensible to monitor any animals/pets that infected people are in contact with.”

Experts believe rodents, such as rats and squirrels, can harbour the virus but the full range of animals at risk is not yet known.

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