Pets with monkey pox could become endemic across Europe and could be locked up in the UK forever, warning UK health officials.
According to Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), there are currently 57 cases of monkey pox on record, which are spreading in the UK.
The UKHSA announced yesterday (Monday 23 May) that 36 new infections have been reported in the UK, 20 previously known cases and 1 more in Scotland.
Ensuring that your pet is not infected is important to controlling any ailments that patients can suffer from fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue and chills.
Symptoms of chickenpox in monkeys filmed during an outbreak in the United States in 2003 (Image: Getty Images) View more related articles View more related articles
No pets are known to have been infected, but the European Center for Disease Control warned on Monday that it is important to “manage exposed pets and prevent the spread of disease to wildlife” I did.
The update states, “If human-to-animal transmission occurs and the virus spreads to animal populations, there is a risk that the disease will become endemic in Europe.
“Rodents, particularly species in the family Sciuridae, are more likely than humans to be suitable hosts, and transmission from humans to (pets) animals is theoretically possible.
“These spills could potentially allow the virus to settle in European wildlife and make the disease endemic. The likelihood of this leak is very low.”
European Center for Disease Control says protecting monkey pox from wildlife is essential (Image: Getty Images/EyeEm) Read more articles
Animals such as mice and squirrels are more likely to get monkey head, but there are also fears that dogs and cats can also get it.
“It seems prudent to monitor all animals/pets that infected people come into contact with,” Professor David Robertson of the Glasgow Center for Virus Research told The Telegraph.
Gay and bisexual men now account for a “notable proportion” of cases, so you should regularly check them for rashes or body lesions that look like monkey pox.
Monkey head symptoms especially include abnormal blemishes on the genitals, which should be reported to NHS 111 immediately or checked with the patient’s local sexual health clinic.
A total of 57 people in the UK have been recorded with monkey head (Image: REUTERS)
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When someone gets monkey head, it is considered contagious until all the scabs are gone, and it can take several weeks.
Anyone in the UK who has had close contact with an infected person can get a smallpox jab called Imvanex to protect against the disease.
The virus got its name from a crab-eating laboratory monkey monkey who was observed to contract chickenpox in 1958. And 12 years later, in 1970, the first case of monkey chickenpox was discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A patient with monkeypox in the Democratic Republic of Congo between 1996 and 1997 (Image: Courtesy of REUTERS)
It is not monkeys that spread the disease, but rodents seen in the 2003 US outbreak, dating back to rodents imported from Ghana.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the mortality rate for mild strains that have spread worldwide is about 3-6%. This compares to the more severe strains known to have a mortality rate of 10%.
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