Ebola and Excalibur

Ebola victim's dog, ExcaliburThere seems to have been more concern about her family pet, Excalibur, than the nurse infected by Ebola, as far as social media goes.

Whilst in the standard press the Rajoy government peddles calm and the Minister of Health, Ana Mato, says that citizen safety is guaranteed, the husband from his quarantine quarters launched a desperate plea on the social media to save his dog, which is pending imminent execution, or if you prefer the euphemism, being put down.

The following is an example taken from www.change.org

“Not only is it unfair to be infected with Ebola by the sanitary assistant due to the lack of necessary means, they must also lose their dog as a result of an thoughtless decision, as it would be much easier to isolate or quarantine the dog just as they have the victim’s husband. If this woman were to die, the dog which has accompanied them for so many years would be an important emotional support for her husband. This is not “just” a dog, for this couple he is one of the family.”

So far this online petition has 253,359 signatures.

He argues that no tests have been carried out on the dog to see if it has been infected, but the fact is that the childless couple and their dog shared the same infected environment,

Given that Ebola is passed through bodily fluids, such as sweat and saliva and that dogs tend to lick their owners… even if the virus might not have developed within the animals organism, it could easily be a carrier.

Meanwhile, The Director General of the International Centre for Medical Investigation in Franceville, in Gabon, Doctor Eric Leroy, who is one of the major contributors to the medical report, Ebola Virus Antibody Prevalence in Dogs and Human Risk, says “The dog should not be killed because it is important from a scientific point of view.”

The said report suggests that “dogs can become infected by the Ebola virus and that the assumed infection is asymptomatic;” i.e., if an animal is a carrier it experiences no symptoms.

No matter, social media is alive with “Save Excalibur!” Not much about “Save the Nurse!” because whilst most Spaniards might know the name of the dog, they don’t know the name of the nurse (Teresa).

Incredibly whilst the health authorities were going to disinfect the flat and terminate the pet as announced yesterday, the rest of the block residents had received no advice or warning – Ebola can live 48 hours outside the human organism, i.e., on door handles, etc.

The blaring questions are:

Why did the health authorities not continue to monitor the health of the nurses, etc who had treated the Ebola victims (missionaries) brought back for treatment from Africa?

How was she allowed to go away on holiday, even if she didn’t leave Madrid? Bear in mind, the patient she was treating died on the 26th of September and she started her holidays the next day. On the 30th she phoned in to say that she wasn’t feeling well and the answer was reportedly, “Stay calm and stay at home.” On the 6th she was running high temperatures and her condition diagnosed as having contracted Ebola.

Once her condition was known, how is it that her neighbours in the same block were not subjected to some kind of immediate health control – Ebola can take between two days and 21 days to develop in its human host and for symptoms to manifest themselves.

Could one expect the Health Minister – already smeared by the Gürtel Corruption Scandal – to resign? Not much chance of that in the Rajoy Government as they appear allergic to such moral stances, no matter that the said Minister’s surname translates for “I Kill.”

(News/Editorial: Spain)

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