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Can Dogs Spread Ebola?

16 October 2014

UK - Following the recent case of a dog in Spain which was euthanised after contact with the nurse who had contracted Ebola virus there may be concerns about the potential role of dogs, in the spread of Ebola.

There is very little published information on Ebola in domestic animals but one study, undertaken by the Center for Disease Control, demonstrated that dogs exposed to Ebola virus did show sero-conversion but without clinical signs.

Although it is thought that initial human infection may have been from an unidentified infected animal the disease, in humans, spreads through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, sweat, faeces, vomit, breast milk, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola or objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus.

While there is no evidence that domestic animals have been implicated in the spread of the disease it would be a sensible precaution to take great care when handling dogs, or other animals, known to have been in contact with an infected person.

For more information, click here.

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