The European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) issued a report urging everyone affected by monkeypox to quarantine their “mammalian pets” . As they pointed out, they seek to prevent the disease from becoming endemic in this region . What are the reasons behind this order established for the member countries of the European Union?
Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease. In other words, it is transmitted from animals to humans and vice versa . As with people, who must be isolated to prevent the spread of the disease,the ECDC asked those affected to carry out the same measure in their mammalian pets.
“There is a potential risk of transmission from people to animals, so close collaboration between health and veterinary authorities is necessary, working from a global health perspective to care for exposed pets,” they assured from the European entity in a document. issued in the last few hours.
In this sense, they ensured thatthe animals most at risk of becoming reservoirs of the virus are domestic rodents , such as hamsters or different kinds of rats. As they warned,This measure seeks to prevent the “virus from establishing itself in European wildlife and turning monkeypox into an endemic zoonotic disease.”
It is for this reason that the ECDC recommended that all mammalian pets that are or have been in contact with a positive case of monkeypox “comply with quarantine and be tested”. “Rodents should ideally be isolated in guarded spaces” with airflow control, the European health body said. While requesting that the welfare of these rodents be ensured both in laboratories and in government spaces, kennels or animal protection centers,being that “euthanasia should only be contemplated when it is not possible” to apply control and monitoring measures.
“ Other species of mammals can quarantine at home if welfare conditions allow it (such as going outside in fenced spaces in the case of dogs and access to veterinary services) ”, they warned. Although they stressed that visits from other people and pets leaving the house should be avoided.
Likewise, the ECDC pointed out that “countries must update contact tracing mechanisms, Orthopoxvirus diagnostic capacity and review the availability of vaccines, antivirals and protective equipment for health professionals”, since they are expected (as indicated by the World Health Organization) that more cases of this disease are detected.
What are the most relevant aspects of monkeypox
The contagion is produced by contact with the skin of an affected person or with the mucous membranes , which must be intimate and prolonged. Although monkeypox is not excessively contagious and is not usually dangerous for those who contract it, health authorities have preferred to take precautions.
According to the Science Media Center Spain institution (dependent on the Ministry of Science) on its website, “human-to-human transmission is limited and requires close contact, either with respiratory secretions or skin lesions, a contaminated object or face-to-face contact. allowing infection from respiratory particles. The longest documented chain of transmission is 6 people. If you live with an affected person, you should not share a glass, cutlery, or towels, for example.
For its part, the WHO pointed out that close contact with other patients is the most important risk factor for infection. “In the absence of a specific treatment or vaccine (although antivirals are prescribed), the only way to reduce infection in people is to make them aware of the risk factors and educate them about the measures they can take to reduce exposure to the virus. ”, he indicated.
In addition, the international health entity emphasized 4 fundamental points to avoid contagion:
1-It is important to reduce the risk of transmission from animals to people. It is necessary to avoid any contact with rodents and primates and, secondly, to limit direct exposure to blood and meat, and to cook them thoroughly before consumption . Gloves and other appropriate protective clothing should be worn during handling of sick animals or their infected tissues, and during slaughter procedures .
2-We must ensure that the risk of transmission from person to person is reduced. Close physical contact with people infected with monkeypox virus should be avoided . To assist the sick, gloves and protective equipment should be used. Hands should be washed systematically after caring for a sick person. It is recommended to isolate patients at home or in health centers .
3-Those who have not done so should seriously consider getting vaccinated against smallpox . But they indicate that the old smallpox vaccine should not be given to people who are immunosuppressed.
4-Health personnel who care for infected patients or who handle samples obtained from them must observe ordinary precautions for infection control.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.