MADRID, October 8 (RIA Novosti) - Madrid health authorities have euthanized Excalibur, a dog belonging to the Spanish nurse suffering from the Ebola virus, EFE news agency reported Wednesday, citing officials.
“Unfortunately we had no other choice,” Madrid regional government health spokesman Javier Rodriguez said.
The report was confirmed by Partido Animalista – PACMA, a Spanish political party focused in the animal rights.
“We confirm the bad news. Excalibur was killed. From the bottom of the heart, we thank you for your support. We will keep working," the organization said on its Twitter page.
On Monday, Teresa Romero Ramos, a nurse at a hospital in Madrid tested positive after taking part in the treatment of Spanish priest Manuel García Viejo, who became infected with the Ebola virus, while assisting patients in Sierra Leone and died in a Madrid hospital on September 25. This was the first Ebola case in Europe during the current outbreak.
Madrid authorities decided to euthanize Excalibur, the dog of the nurse. Apparently, animals can be infected with Ebola, and then, in turn, pass the virus to humans.
Pet lovers around the world mobilized and launched a campaign on social media to save the Ramos’ pet. Approximately 300,000 people signed a petition urging authorities to spare the dog.
The Ebola epidemic currently taking place in West Africa broke out in southern Guinea in February, and later spread across Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the death toll from the epidemic has surpassed 3,800.
The Ebola virus is transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of those infected. Though there is no officially approved medication for the disease, several countries, including Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan are working on developing Ebola vaccines.