The Slatest

Spain Says It Will Euthanize Pet Dog of Nurse Infected With Ebola

An ambulance transports the Spanish nurse infected with Ebola.  

Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

The day after Spanish health officials announced the first case of Ebola in Europe, the country began taking steps to contain any potential outbreak of the deadly virus. Spanish authorities placed the infected nurse—who contracted the virus while treating a stricken missionary that had been returned to the country—in isolation, and quarantined her husband along with two others. Isolation and quarantine are pretty standard, universal steps taken by health workers to limit potential transmission, but Spanish officials went one step farther and got a court order to euthanize and incinerate the nurse’s dog. The infected woman and her husband objected to the euthanization of their mixed breed pet, named Excalibur.

“The response by [the government] raised the specter that pets could spread the disease,” ABC News reports. “The government said available scientific knowledge suggests a risk that the dog could transmit the virus to humans.” U.S. officials said Tuesday they are not taking similar measures.

Here’s more on the U.S. response from ABC News:

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a news conference today, “We have not identified this as means of transmission,” but declined to comment on the actions by [Spanish] officials. Texas health commissioner David Lakey, who has said they are monitoring about 50 people who had contact with the Ebola patient in Dallas, said, “We are not monitoring any animals at this time.”

Read more of Slate’s coverage of Ebola.