Spanish health officials are taking no chances with the Ebola virus, as authorities in that country secured a court order to euthanize a dog whose owner was diagnosed with the deadly disease.
Nursing aide Teresa Romero, 44, tested positive for Ebola after she treated a priest who died from the disease in a Madrid hospital. Romero is the first instance of a person contracting the disease outside of West Africa. Romero’s husband, Javier Limon, is in quarantine, as is the couple’s 12-year-old dog, mixed-breed Excalibur, was isolated at their apartment.
“I want to publicly denounce a man named Zarco, whom I believe is the chief health officer of the Community of Madrid, told me that they have to sacrifice my dog just like that, with no explanation,” Javier wrote in a post that appeared on the Asociacion Protectora Villa Pepa Facebook page. “He asked for my consent, which I denied strongly. He said that they will ask for a court order to enter in my house and sacrifice the dog.”
Word of Excalibur’s situation brought outrage from social media, especially on Twitter, where posts regarding the dog’s plight bear the hashtag #SalvemosAExcalibur. A change.org petition also called for the animal to be spared.
— Rosi Montero (@rosi7a) October 7, 2014
According to Madrid’s Ministry of Heath, Excalibur was euthanized on Wednesday. His body was and his body taken to an incinerator by officials.
Is fear of canines spreading Ebola warranted? A 2005 study (“Ebola Virus Antibody Prevalence in Dogs and Human Risk”) claims dogs might catch the Ebola virus in the wild and this finding, “has potential implications for preventing and controlling human outbreaks.”
Thomas Eric Duncan, who was the first person in the United States diagnosed with Ebola, died on Wednesday in Dallas.