County Judge

Ebola Patient's Dog in Isolation

Dallas officials say the dog that belongs to a nurse diagnosed with Ebola has been removed from her apartment and will be in isolation at an undisclosed location.

The nurse's Dallas apartment is being thoroughly cleaned after tests over the weekend confirmed she is infected.

A Dallas spokeswoman tweeted that the dog named Bentley was taken out of the apartment Monday afternoon.

Officials confirmed to NBC News that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will be held in isolation away from other dogs and people.

"Wherever Bentley ends up, whatever [sort of facility] he'll be in, he'll be by himself," Richard Hill, spokesperson for the Dallas Office of Emergency Management, told NBC News.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins assured people that Bentley is in good hands.

"I told the [Emergency Operations Center] that dog will be the best cared for dog in the United States," said Jenkins. "This young lady is a hero and she is concerned about her health and that dog. And we are going to take care of that dog."

The nurse tended to Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital after he became the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. He died last week.

There was an uproar in Spain after Madrid authorities euthanized a dog named Excalibur that belonged to a nursing assistant sickened by the virus. She remains hospitalized. Authorities were concerned the dog might be harboring the virus.

Officials in Dallas have been in consultation with the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences on how to best treat Bentley.

"Because of this virus, we should and will treat this dog as if it could be a risk, because we want to do everything we can. It will be handled with what we call an abundance of caution," said Eleanor Green, dean of the college.

Decision-makers are well aware of the public backlash against the decision to proactively put down the Spanish dog, according to Green.

"Public health is No. 1," Green said. "We need to think about what's best for the public. We also need to be compassionate for animals as well. And if this animal is of little or no risk, then why should it be euthanized?"

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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