Ebola and Your Pet

posted: by: Dawn, RVT Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Ebola...what is it and how does it spread?  Who is at risk?  What about your pets?

Ebola is a virus that was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in the current day Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa.  Since that time, the CDC says there've been sporadic outbreaks of Ebola in humans in that region.

In Africa, Ebola is usually spread though the handling of bushmeat and via contact with infected bats.  Once a human has Ebola, another human can become infected with the virus one of two ways:
1) Touching the blood or body fluids of the infected person
2) Touching objects contaminated with bodily fluids of the infected person (such as needles)

Ebola is NOT transmitted in the air or in water.

Until the recent travel-associated cases of Ebola in the US, all cases of human illness or death from Ebola have been in Africa.

So what about your pets?

There has not been any evidence of transmission of Ebola from humans to dogs or cats.  Even in Africa where Ebola is more prevalent, there are no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola.  There's been concern over the pets of people diagnosed with Ebola: the CDC recommends that public health officials work with the veterinarian to evaluate the pet's risk of exposure to the virus.  As a precaution, all animals should be kept away from body fluids of the infected person.

There is currently no routine testing for Ebola for pets.

Monkeys are at risk for Ebola, and Fruit Bats in Africa are considered natural reservoirs for the virus.  However, healthy monkeys and bats currently in the US are NOT considered at risk for Ebola.  Monkeys already in the US would have to be in contact with an infected person's body fluids to be at risk.  Bats in North America are not known to carry the virus (but are known to carry the Rabies virus and other illnesses).

The Centers for Disease Control is working with the American Veterinary Medical Association and the US Department of Agriculture to develop additional information for pet owners in the United States.

Suburban Animal Clinic is located in West Columbus off I-70 near I-270.  Suburban Animal Clinic serves Galloway, Hilltop, West Side, Georgesville, West Jefferson, Grove CityGrandviewUpper Arlington (including OSU Campus area), Hilliard and Dublin.

Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Veterinary Medical Association.

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