HEALTH

Pet dog of second of Ebola patient in Dallas will be spared, mayor says

A hazmat worker cleaning outside an apartment building of a hospital worker, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas.

A hazmat worker cleaning outside an apartment building of a hospital worker, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas.

This dog will live. 

In contrast with what authorities decided in Spain just a week ago, when the dog of a nursing assistant who contracted Ebola was euthanized, triggering a firestorm of outrage in Madrid and even worldwide, the pet owned by the second patient diagnosed with the virus in Dallas will not be put to sleep.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told USA Today that there are no plans to euthanize the dog. Instead, it will be moved to a new location until the health care worker, who has not yet been identified, recovers and is able to return home.

Officials interviewed by the Associated Press said the pet shows no signs of having contracted Ebola.

The name, age and breed of the dog have not been disclosed.

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Excalibur – the dog that belonged to Teresa Romero, who is battling the Ebola virus in Madrid – was put down on Wednesday of last week.

"Unfortunately, there was no choice," said Dr. Pedro Luís Lorenzo, the dean of the veterinary school at the Complutense University of Madrid who was part of the team that carried out the procedure, in a telephone interview with Fox News Latino.

He said it was a “tough decision” that had to be made because there was no lab in Madrid that could guarantee the safety of those caring for the animal.

The customary quarantine period for Ebola is three weeks.

USA Today reports that CG Environmental’s Brad Smith, who is leading the cleaning efforts at the patient's apartment, will work with members of the local SPCA branch and Dallas animal control officials to remove the Dallas dog from the apartment.

"We have the (personal protection equipment) that needs to be worn," Smith told the paper.

Ebola spreads through close contact with a symptomatic person's bodily fluids, such as blood, sweat, vomit, feces, urine, saliva or semen. Those fluids must have an entry point, such as a cut or scrape or someone touching the nose, mouth or eyes with contaminated hands, or being splashed.

Both pet and hunting dogs in West Africa have tested positive for the Ebola virus, but none have showed signs of being infected, getting sick or dying from the virus. There are no documented cases of dogs passing the Ebola virus to people.

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