Unlike in Spain, Dallas Ebola patient’s dog will be saved
DALLAS — The health worker who tested positive for Ebola has a dog, but the mayor of Dallas says unlike in a recent Spanish case, the dog will be kept safe for eventual reunion with its owner.
Mayor Mike Rawlings told USA TODAY that the dog remained in the health worker’s apartment when she was hospitalized and will soon be sent to a new location to await its owner’s recovery.
There are no plans to euthanize the dog, he said.
“This was a new twist,” Rawlings said. “The dog’s very important to the patient and we want it to be safe.”
There were no immediate details on the name or type of dog.
Brad Smith, of CG Environmental, will lead the effort to decontaminate the patient’s East Dallas apartment. He said he has been alerted that the patient’s dog is still inside and will work with members of the local SPCA branch and Dallas animal control officials to remove it from the apartment.
“We’ll assist with that,” Smith said. “We have the [personal protection equipment] that needs to be worn.”
In Spain, the Madrid regional government said last Wednesday that it had euthanized Excalibur, the pet of the Spanish nursing assistant being treated. The dog was sedated to avoid suffering. After death its corpse was “put into a sealed biosecurity device and transferred for incineration at an authorized disposal facility,” according to a statement from the Madrid government, Associated Press reported.
Spanish officials said the dog was killed because it posed a risk of transmitting the disease to humans. There is no documented case of Ebola spreading to people from dogs, but at least one major study suggests dogs can get the disease without showing symptoms. Experts say they are uncertain what risk that poses to humans.
The Spanish health ministry said the nursing assistant, Teresa Romero Ramos, is in stable condition and showing signs of “slight improvement,” the AP reported Sunday.
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