Guidelines

Risk Guidance on Reducing Spillback of Monkeypox Virus from Humans to Wildlife, Pet Animals and other Animals

28/09/2022

WOAH

The current monkeypox global health emergency is caused by the zoonotic monkeypox virus found in humans, rodents, non-human-primates, and other mammals. Historically found in Africa where the virus is thought to be maintained in rodent populations, the virus is rapidly spreading across the globe to new countries and territories, mainly through human-to-human transmission. Though animal-to-human and human-to-human transmission has been scientifically established, there are recent reports suggesting human-to-animal transmission in these new geographical regions. In such regions, there is concern regarding the spread of this virus from humans to animals, including wildlife and pets, which could lead to the establishment of new reservoir host populations, making the virus endemic to these regions. In such a situation, prevention and control of the global health emergency will be complicated, both for humans (public health) and animals (animal health). Thus, the risk of human-to-animal spillback, which is greatest amongst people who can infect and transmit monkeypox infection to animals such as rodents, non-human primates, dogs, and other mammals, needs to be minimised with these guidelines.