Ebola: Texas nurse Nina Pham's dog saved from being euthanised by officials

Bentley has been quarantined in a secret location

Heather Saul
Wednesday 15 October 2014 10:09
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Nina Pham, pictured with her dog Bentley, became the first person to contract the deadly virus in Dallas,Texas at the weekend
Nina Pham, pictured with her dog Bentley, became the first person to contract the deadly virus in Dallas,Texas at the weekend

A dog found in the apartment of a female health worker who contracted Ebola in the US has been placed in quarantine and is being cared for isolation, officials have revealed.

Nina Pham became the first person to contract the deadly virus in Dallas, Texas at the weekend. Ms Pham had been in close contact with deceased victim Thomas Eric Duncan while treating him before his death last Wednesday.

Officials in Spain put down nurse Teresa Romero’s dog Excalibur after she contracted Ebola, despite angry protests from animal rights activists and outrage on social media.

But instead of euthanising Ms Pham’s Cavalier King Charles spaniel Bentley, County Judge Clay Jenkins ordered Dallas Animal Services to take it into quarantine. Bentley will be monitored for at least 21 days for any signs of the virus before he is released from isolation.

Judge Jenkins told USA Today the family urged her not to protect the dog after Ms Pham was hospitalised. He said her parents told him: “This dog is important to her, judge. Don't let anything happen to the dog.

Bentley, the one-year-old King Charles Spaniel belonging to Nina Pham, the nurse who contracted Ebola, has been taken from Pham's Dallas apartment and will be cared for at an undisclosed location

“If that dog has to be The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, we're going to take good care of that dog.”

Officials are still unsure as to whether dogs can transmit Ebola to humans and the risk posed by keeping Bentley alive remains unclear. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention is working to develop official guidance for Ebola cases involving pets.

Officials have said they do not know how the virus infected Ms Pham, who was one of 70 people wearing protective gear while caring for Mr Duncan. The 26-year-old is currently being treated in isolation at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

Dr. Brett Giroir, who was appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry to lead a task force on infectious disease preparedness, said on CNN that every person at the Dallas hospital who had any contact with Mr Duncan was interviewed by the CDC and local health authorities and assessed for risk.

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