Dog owned by U.S. Ebola patient quarantined and under observation in Dallas
The United States is taking a wait-and-see approach when it comes to pets of Ebola patients, rather than quickly euthanizing them as happened in Spain.
After American nurse Nina Pham fell ill with Ebola symptoms, health officials swooped in to collect her dog, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Bentley. Bentley is currently under quarantine at Hensley Field Services Center, a decommissioned naval air base in Dallas, according to CBS News.
Jody Jones, director for Dallas Animal Services, told the news that although Bentley is being kept in unfamiliar surroundings, they are giving him toys and treats and trying to make him feel somewhat at home.
"We were very fortunate in finding a home-like environment for the dog rather than a standard isolation facility," Jones said. "Bentley is being crated during his stay because he does have to be confined — because this is a public health situation — but we are trying to make it as comfortable as possible for him."
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told ABC News that city officials were going to do their best to protect Bentley because the "dog's very important to the patient and we want it to be safe."
Organizations collaborating on Ebola information for the public
Media coverage of Ebola patients and their pets have sparked public concerns regarding whether pets can spread the Ebola virus to humans.
In response to the concerns, the AVMA announced that it is collaborating with the CDC, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other agencies and experts to develop information about Ebola and animals for AVMA members and the public.
As more information becomes available, the AVMA advised people to visit its new resource on Ebola at avma.org/ebola. This section includes information for veterinarians, an FAQ section for veterinary clients, and a link to the CDC's Q&A about Ebola and pets.
The Washington State Veterinary Medical Association also recently issued some talking points for veterinarians to discuss with clients the risks of contracting Ebola from pets.