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Pets and Ebola: What Are the Risks?

26 November 2014

GLOBAL - Research is underway into whether or not pets can spread the deadly Ebola virus to humans.

US officials say there have been no reported cases of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola, even in parts of Africa where the virus is present.

Recently, the Madrid regional government obtained a court order to euthanise the dog of a Spanish nurse, who became infected with Ebola after caring for an infected priest.

A similar case emerged shortly afterwards in Dallas, where a nurse with a dog tested positive for Ebola. Unlike in Spain, the dog in Dallas was placed in quarantine for 21 days and released after showing no symptoms and twice testing negative for the virus.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has issued guidance for health officials handling the pets of people exposed to the Ebola virus.

In response, the AVMA convened several working groups with the USDA, CDC, and other health agencies and experts to develop guidance for public health officials on how to assess, handle, and monitor companion animals that may have been exposed to the virus.

The AVMA said the development of this guidance was a long process due to its novel and complex nature, as well as the lack of scientific data on Ebola and companion animals currently available.

The following information is available:

Further Reading

You can read our previous coverage by clicking here.

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