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Texas nurse Nina Pham's dog, Bentley, tests negative for Ebola

Texas nurse Nina Pham's dog, Bentley, tests negative for Ebola
Ebola patient Nina Pham's dog, Bentley, is in quarantine at a decommissioned naval air base west of Dallas. (Dallas Animal Services)

Texas nurse Nina Pham's dog, Bentley, has tested negative for the Ebola virus, Dallas officials announced Wednesday.

The 1-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel was put into quarantine last week after Pham contracted the disease.

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Pham, 26, was diagnosed with Ebola this month after taking care of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed on U.S. soil, at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

She stayed in isolation in the hospital for nearly a week and was transferred Thursday to a National Institutes of Health clinic in Bethesda, Md., for further treatment. On Tuesday, her condition was upgraded to good.

Bentley is to remain in quarantine at Hensley Field, a decommissioned naval air base west of Dallas, for 21 days, the incubation period for Ebola. He will be tested again before being released, Dallas spokeswoman Sana Syed said on Twitter.

Workers watching over Bentley have been wearing full-body protective suits to make sure they don't catch the deadly virus in case he was infected. But the risk that a person could catch Ebola from a dog is exceedingly low, experts say.

Although there is scientific evidence that pets are vulnerable to infection, there has not been a single case of a dog or cat spreading the virus to people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, the CDC says, "there have been no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola," not even in Africa, where the virus was first identified in the 1970s.

In Spain this month, after nursing assistant Teresa Romero Ramos was diagnosed with Ebola, authorities euthanized her dog as a precaution. The move sparked international outrage.

On Sunday, an initial test showed that Romero's blood no longer had any traces of the Ebola virus.

Times staff writer Karen Kaplan contributed to this report.

For news about Ebola, follow @raablauren on Twitter.

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