Monkeypox: risks in companion animals

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Monkeypox: risks in companion animals

Published 6 June 2022 | updated 16 December 2022


This information has been put together following the increasing number of cases of Monkeypox in humans and the advice that mammalian pets in households where Monkeypox has been confirmed should be isolated.

Monkeypox virus (MPXV) is an Orthopoxvirus and was first discovered in 1958 during an outbreak in an animal facility in Copenhagen, Denmark. Since its discovery, MPXV has been found to infect and induce disease in a range of mammals.

The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), causing a disease with symptoms similar, but less severe than smallpox. Two distinct clades have been identified: the West African clade and the Congo Basin clade, also known as the Central African clade.

The spread of monkeypox may occur when a person comes into close contact with an infected human, animal or materials contaminated with the virus.

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