HOUSTON (CW39) — Health officials are advising people who are infected with monkeypox to stay away from their pets.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has had this advice in place for months as monkeypox spread in the U.S. But keeping distance from animals gained new attention after a report from France, published last week in the medical journal Lancet, about an Italian greyhound that caught the virus.

Experts say the virus is just as easy to transfer to pets as it is to humans. It can happen because of close contact, shared bedding, passing them food, or playing with them.

“I would say this is definitely not a reason to panic.”

Jeff Doty, Disease Ecologist for the Centers for Disease Control.

“This is an isolated case so far,” Doty added. “But, you know, there are more and more human cases develop[ing]. We could see changes and start seeing more infections in animals.”

If you are diagnosed with monkeypox, here are some recommendations to keep from spreading the virus to your pets.

  • Get somebody else to take care of your animal
  • If you don’t have anybody else, make sure to wear gloves, long sleeves, pants, and a mask when you have to take care of them.
  • Stop sharing beds and food.
  • The CDC adds Pets that come in close contact with a symptomatic person should be kept at home and away from other animals and people for 21 days after the most recent contact.