Spanish officials will euthanize an Ebola patient’s pet dog.
ABC News reported:
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Spanish health authorities reacted forcefully today after a nurse’s aide was found to have contracted Ebola, putting her in an isolation unit, quarantining her husband and two other people, and getting a court order to euthanize her dog.
The case marked the first time the disease has been contracted outside of west Africa and has alarmed health workers throughout Europe.
The European Union has demanded an explanation from Spain as to how the health worker could have become infected. “Tomorrow morning, we will have an audio conference call of EU’s Health Security Committee,” said Frederic Vincent, a spokesman for European Health Commission. “We will all listen very carefully to what the Spanish officials have to tell us on why was the hospital not ready for Ebola patients.”
The response by Madrid raised the specter that pets could spread the disease. The city of Madrid got a court order to euthanize and incinerate the woman’s dog over her and her husband’s objections, according to the Associated Press. The dog is a mixed breed pooch named Excalibur.
The government said available scientific knowledge suggests a risk that the dog could transmit the virus to humans.
Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a news conference today, “We have not identified this as means of transmission,” but declined to comment on the actions by Madrid officials.
Texas health commissioner David Lakey, who has said they are monitoring about 50 people who had contact with the Ebola patient in Dallas, said, “We are not monitoring any animals at this time.”