Updated:Despite the best efforts of supporters and protesters, authorities moved forward with their plan and MSN reports that Excalibur was euthanized late Wednesday.
Efforts are under way to save Excalibur the dog, the canine who belongs to a Spanish nurse’s assistant, who just tested positive for the Ebola virus. Teresa Romero Ramos is now in isolation, and Madrid health authorities are worried that Excalibur could also be infected.
The mixed-breed dog belongs to Ramos and Javier Limon Romero, and has been exposed to the virus. Javier is currently in quarantine, and he wants the same to be done for Excalibur.
As The Huffington Post notes, however, Excalibur the dog may instead be euthanized because health officials believe that the dog may be able to spread the virus to other people. They are talking about moving ahead with euthanizing the dog even though, at this point, the canine shows no signs of the Ebola virus.
Romero says he was asked by authorities for his consent to euthanize the dog, and he denied it. Romero adds that he has been told that now authorities may pursue a court order to put Excalibur down without the owner’s consent.
Animal lovers around the world have come together to try to save Excalibur the dog. The hashtag #SalvemosaExcalibur has sprouted up on Twitter, and people are sharing pictures of their dogs with notes that Excalibur should be spared. In addition, more than 360,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org, pleading for the dog to be isolated rather than sacrificed.
CNN notes that studies regarding the transmission of Ebola between dogs and humans have not been conclusive. While there have been signs that chimpanzees, gorillas, and some other types of animals can be infected with the disease, studies have not provided such concrete information regarding Ebola and dogs.
At this point, it has not been determined just how the nursing assistant contracted the disease. She had been part of a team caring for a Spanish priest who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone. However, it is said that she wore a hazmat suit when she entered the priest’s room. So far, it seems that no records point to any specific accidental exposure to the virus.
Dozens of people who had contact with Teresa Romero Ramos have been put under observation. At this point, nobody else appears to have developed symptoms of the Ebola virus. Ramos is said to be in stable condition, in contrast to the Dallas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who died Wednesday morning.
[Image via The Standard]