Monkeypox is an uncommon viral disease mostly found in countries of Central
and West Africa. Founded in 1958 in laboratory monkeys, this disease
originated from an African Squirrel. Monkeypox is produced by monkeypox
virus, which belongs to the family of viruses such as Smallpox virus
(Variola) and Cowpox virus. Rodents are the typical host for monkeypox
and it can be transmitted to humans through a bite or direct contact with
the infected animalí»s body fluids or blood. It can also be transmitted
through person to person and via contact with the virus contaminated objects.
The first known case in human was in 1970.
Monkeypox was reported in the United States early this month. It has
infected at least 54 people in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and New Jersey.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the infections were a
direct cause of humans coming into contact with monkeypox infected prairie dogs.
The initial symptoms of monkeypox includes headache, muscle ache, fever,
excessive sweating, swollen glands and skin rash.
CDC states that there is no proven safe treatment for monkeypox. Smallpox
vaccines are currently used to reduce the spread of monkeypox. However, CDC
recommends that all persons involved in caring, researching, and treating
animals or human infected with monkeypox to be vaccinated. The vaccination
can be done up to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
These days, we are concerned about possible bio-terrorism, so most of us
are becoming sensitive even to cases that have been neglected in the past,
but there is no need to panic. Panic and stress can cause more harm to our
When you think your pet or a prairie dog has any sign compatible with monkeypox,
you should isolate the animal from humans and other animals, and then call the
local health department.
Pet owners are recommended to wear gloves and masks when handling the suspicious
animal. When you bring the animal to a veterinarian, you should also take the
animals bedding in the bag. Doní»t throw it away into a garbage can. If other
animals in the house came in contact with the ill animals, take a close
observation for signs of illness for a period of one month following the last
date of exposure. Soiled household surfaces should be cleaned by using
When transporting the ill animals to veterinarians, you should take a care to
minimize the chances of spreading the disease to drivers. Keep the animal in
closed containers and, if possible, confine the animal in separate compartments
such as the bed of a pickup truck. After transport, the area where the animal
stayed should be cleaned thoroughly with disinfectant.