Nov 10 2014

Ebola – What Pet Owner’s Should Know….

Addressing Pet Owners’ Concerns About Ebola

-What is Ebola?

Ebola is a rare disease caused by a virus. It has caused outbreaks in West Africa. See map of affected countries on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website: http://tinyurl.com/CDCEbolaMap

-How does Ebola spread?

You can catch Ebola from a sick person who has it. The Ebola virus is in the sick patient’s body fluids. Examples include sweat, saliva, mucus, blood, vomit, urine, feces, breast milk, and semen. The virus spreads when these fluids get into the eyes, nose, mouth, or broken skin of another person. Objects contaminated by body fluid can also spread it.

-Can dogs and cats get infected or sick with Ebola?

At this time, there have been no reports of illness in dogs or cats. Even in the areas in Africa where Ebola is present, there have been no reports of dogs or cats getting sick. There is limited evidence that dogs can become infected with Ebola virus. However, there is no evidence that they get sick from it or spread it.

-Can I get Ebola from a dog or cat?

At this time, there are no reports of dogs or cats spreading the virus to people or other animals. The chances of a dog or cat being exposed to Ebola virus in the United States is very low. Dogs or cats would have to come into contact with blood or body fluids of a person sick with Ebola.

-I have a pet. What should I do?

The vast majority of the pet-owning public does not need to take any precautions in regards to Ebola. However, pets should not have contact with people who are sick, regardless of the illness. Pets and people can share a variety of common germs. Therefore, good hygiene around pets and routine veterinary care are always recommended to protect the health of both you and your pet.

People who may have had contact with Ebola should minimize contact with pets while they are being monitored for symptoms. This will reduce the risk of a pet being exposed to the virus. When pets have contact with a person with Ebola, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will evaluate whether the pet may have been exposed to the patient’s blood or body fluids, and whether the pet will need to be quarantined and monitored.

For more information call LA County Dept. of Health 2-1-1, or CDC 1-800-232-4636

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