2001-Tue Dec 12 05:35:43 EST 2017
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As Nina Pham, a Dallas nurse infected with the deadly Ebola virus, tries to recover at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, her dog Bentley is getting special care from Dallas Animal Services.
There is no evidence that the 1-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has been infected with Ebola, but he’s being quarantined out of caution.
The Centers for Disease Control said studies have shown that dogs can have an immune response to Ebola, meaning they can become infected. There have been no reports of dogs or cats showing symptoms of the disease or transmitting it to other animals or humans.
Bentley was carefully removed from Pham’s apartment Monday and is staying at Hensley Field Services Center, a former Naval air station in Dallas.
Access to Bentley is limited to one or two people per day, and his caretakers must have Hazmat clearance, reported the Dallas Morning News.
“Bentley is bright and alert this morning,” Dallas Animal Services tweeted today. “Looking good and happy to see us!”
Bentley will be kept in quarantine and crated for 21 days. He’s being given food, water, treats and toys and is taken outside for his “elimination needs,” said Jody Jones, director of Dallas Animal Services, on Tuesday. The dog’s waste is collected in Hazmat barrels at the site.
“Bentley is doing very well and is doing OK in his environment,” Jones said at a press conference. “He actually gave us some tail wags and happy greetings when he received care both yesterday and today. …Unfortunately the contact does have to be minimal. I think any animal would love to know that he was being snuggled and held but in the interest of public safety there are really limitations there.”
Jones said Bentley is a little scared by the noise of the suits his caretakers have to wear, but “he’s a people dog, so he recognizes that we’re here and we’re trying to do well by him.”
“The dog is doing amazingly well,” Jones said at the press conference. “I know my dog would not have done that well.”
Pham called Dallas Animal Services operations manager Dr. Cate McManus Tuesday to thank her for everything that was being done to take care of Bentley, the department said on its Facebook page.
The situation in Dallas has been in stark contrast to the one in Madrid last week, where Excalibur, a dog belonging to an Ebola-infected health care worker there, was euthanized because of fears he could spread the disease.
Pham was the first person to contract Ebola in the U.S. She’d cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who died of the disease at the same hospital where she’s now a patient.
Word came early today that a second health care worker from the same hospital also tested positive for Ebola. Authorities said that worker does not have any pets, CNN reported.
Both Jones and Dallas city spokesperson Sana Syed said there’s been an overwhelming outpouring of support for Bentley and Dallas Animal Services from all over the world. Syed tweeted that she plans to share donation information when it’s available.
Says Jones: “Bentley’s family expressed that next to their daughter’s recovery, Bentley’s care was the next most important thing to them."
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