Health

Dallas Ebola Patient’s Dog Will Be Spared

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

Officials say the Dallas health care worker stricken with Ebola will not lose her dog, unlike the nurse in Spain whose dog was euthanized after she and her husband were put into isolation.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings says there is no plan to euthanize the Dallas woman’s dog and it will be kept safe while she is in isolation, USA Today reported.

“The dog’s very important to the patient, and we want it to be safe,” Rawlings said.

Her dog was in her apartment Monday while the decontamination effort began. First, the outside of her building will be cleaned by CG Environmental, the hazmat crew which cleaned the hospital where Thomas Eric Duncan died on Wednesday. The crew will then clean the inside.

Brad Smith of CG Environmental said they will work with members of the local SPCA and Dallas animal control officials to remove the dog from the apartment.

"We'll assist with that," Smith said. "We have the (personal protection equipment) that needs to be worn."

The canine will be sent to a new location to await the recovery of its owner, Rawlings told USA Today.

A Spanish healthcare worker’s 12-year-old dog was put down last week despite an international outcry against it. Health officials argued that canines can be carriers for Ebola without showing any symptoms of the virus.

Experts say there is no documented case of Ebola spreading from a dog to a human.

"There is no scientific evidence that domestic animals play an active role in the transmission of this disease to humans," Bernard Vallat, director general of the World Organization for Animal Health, told AFP.

The dog, named Excalibur, was "put into a sealed biosecurity device and transferred for incineration at an authorized disposal facility," according to a statement from the Madrid government.

His owner, Teresa Romero Ramos, was in stable condition and showing “slight improvement” Sunday.

Sources: USA Today, Bloomberg

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / jenny downing