With all the news and views of the Ebola epidemic and the euthanization of a pet dog in Spain whose owner contracted the disease, does it affect our pets?
Ebola is one of a group of viral, hemorrhagic diseases that originated in West Africa. It is zoonotic, that is it can be transmitted from animals to humans. There are a number of animals affected by the disease including the primate family. Birds and the African Fruit Bat are said to be carriers.
So far, as is known, Ebola is spread in humans through contact with infected body fluids and consuming contaminated meat, affecting animals the same way.
In 2005, the CDC said the following: “at this time, there have been no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola or of being able to spread Ebola to people or other animals. Even in areas in Africa where Ebola is present, there have been no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola. There is limited evidence that dogs become infected with Ebola virus, but there is no evidence that they develop the disease.”
While this is a CDC report from several years ago, and although there have been reports of dogs being exposed to the virus through consumption of contaminated meat and developing antibodies, the animals have not shown any symptoms nor have they transmitted the disease to humans. Dogs do not die from Ebola.
In modern countries where sanitation and food production are well monitored, there is little chance of our pets or ourselves contracting Ebola.