Stockholm, 23 May 2022 (dpa/MIA) – If the current wave of monkeypox being seen in Europe is transmitted from humans to animals and spreads in an animal population, the disease could become endemic, the European Union’s disease control body said in Stockholm on Monday.
Close collaboration between human and veterinary public health authorities was needed to manage exposed pets and prevent the disease from being transmitted to wildlife, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said.
It noted that the currently diagnosed human cases were primarily among men who have sex with men and this suggested that transmission could take place during intimate relations.
“Most of the current cases have presented with mild disease symptoms, and for the broader population, the likelihood of spread is very low,” ECDC Director Andrea Ammon said.
“However, the likelihood of further spread of the virus through close contact, for example during sexual activities among persons with multiple sexual partners, is considered to be high,” she added.
The ECDC called for rapid confirmation of cases of the disease. Infected people should isolate until the scabs caused by the disease fall off and should avoid contact with pets and immunosuppressed people.