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Ebola and Pets: What's the risk?

Posted on October 20 2014

The CDC is currently working with organizations such as the US Department of Agriculture and the American Veterinary Medical Association to develop guidelines regarding the pet population and Ebola risk. At this time, it is understood that there is little risk of pets contracting or spreading the Ebola virus. However, the CDC has provided some facts to help the public prepare and address concerns.

 

Are animals at risk of contracting/spreading Ebola?

 

In general, animals kept as pets in the United States and other indigenous species are not at risk of hosting or sharing the Ebola virus. There are currently no known cases of dogs, cats, or other commonly domesticated animals testing positive for Ebola. However, primates and fruit bats native to West Africa have been shown to host the virus.

 

Can I test my pet for Ebola?

 

At this point, there is no routine test available for assessing pets for the Ebola virus. As indicated though, the CDC reports very little, if any, risk of pets contracting or spreading Ebola.

 

If my pet is exposed to Ebola, what do I do?

 

Even though the risk of contagion among domesticated animals is low, there may still be the possibility that Ebola can be spread through contact. In these cases, local and state human and animal health officials will determine the appropriate course of action.

 

Can infected primates or bats enter the U.S.?

 

There are extensive restrictions regarding what animals may be brought into the country and how they are to be examined and prepared for entry. Due to these existing regulations, and heightened security measures, it is unlikely that an infected animal could enter the U.S.

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