The global crisis on Ebola continues to raise concerns in the United States after a nurse treating Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient who died of Ebola in Dallas, also caught the virus.
Nina Pham, 26, is being treated for the disease. As a precautionary measure, her dog Bentley has also been quarantined. The dog is being cared for by professionals wearing protective suits.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that even though the virus can be found in some animals, pets in the country are at a significantly low risk of contracting the disease. The data is supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the American Veterinary Medical Association.
The CDC also said that there are no reports to confirm that dogs can carry or transmit Ebola to humans or other animal species. Even in the hardest hit regions, there has been no evidence supporting the claim that animals such as cats and dogs acquire the disease.
The federal agency also suggests that the likelihood of a major Ebola outbreak in the U.S. is minimal, which means that people as well as animals also face a very low risk of catching the virus.
The infectious disease is usually transmitted when a person comes in contact with blood or other body fluids of an infected person. It is still unknown if the paws, body or fur of pet animals can pick up and spread Ebola to humans.
Nevertheless, the CDC recommends that humans and animals be kept away from blood and other body fluids of an Ebola-infected patient.
"CDC recommends that public health officials in collaboration with a veterinarian evaluate the pet's risk of exposure to the virus (close contact or exposure to blood or body fluids of an Ebola patient). Based on this evaluation as well as the specific situation, local and state human and animal health officials will determine how the pet should be handled," the CDC stated.
The agency's official website offers full information on Ebola and pets.