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Management of a pet dog after exposure to a human patient with Ebola virus disease

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  • 1 National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, CDC, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30333.
  • | 2 Region 2/3, Texas Department of State Health Services, 1301 S Bowen Rd, No. 200, Arlington, TX 76013.
  • | 3 Dallas Animal Services, 1818 N Westmoreland Rd, Dallas, TX 75212.
  • | 4 Texas Animal Health Commission, 2105 Kramer Ln, Austin, TX 78758.
  • | 5 Texas Animal Health Commission, 2105 Kramer Ln, Austin, TX 78758.
  • | 6 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.
  • | 7 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.
  • | 8 Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases, Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Center of Excellence, 2501 Earl Rudder Freeway, Ste 701, College Station, TX 77845.
  • | 9 Defense Health Agency Veterinary Services, Defense Health Headquarters, 7700 Arlington Blvd, Ste 5101, Falls Church, VA 22042.
  • | 10 Special Pathogens Laboratory, Diagnostic Systems Division, US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, 1425 Porter St, Fort Detrick, MD 21702.
  • | 11 Special Pathogens Laboratory, Diagnostic Systems Division, US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, 1425 Porter St, Fort Detrick, MD 21702.
  • | 12 Special Pathogens Laboratory, Diagnostic Systems Division, US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, 1425 Porter St, Fort Detrick, MD 21702.
  • | 13 Dallas Animal Services, 1818 N Westmoreland Rd, Dallas, TX 75212.
  • | 14 Region 2/3, Texas Department of State Health Services, 1301 S Bowen Rd, No. 200, Arlington, TX 76013.
  • | 15 National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, CDC, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30333.
  • | 16 National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, CDC, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30333.

Abstract

In October 2014, a health-care worker who had been part of the treatment team for the first laboratory-confirmed case of Ebola virus disease imported to the United States developed symptoms of Ebola virus disease. A presumptive positive reverse transcription PCR assay result for Ebola virus RNA in a blood sample from the worker was confirmed by the CDC, making this the first documented occurrence of domestic transmission of Ebola virus in the United States. The Texas Department of State Health Services commissioner issued a control order requiring disinfection and decontamination of the health-care worker's residence. This process was delayed until the patient's pet dog (which, having been exposed to a human with Ebola virus disease, potentially posed a public health risk) was removed from the residence. This report describes the movement, quarantine, care, testing, and release of the pet dog, highlighting the interdisciplinary, one-health approach and extensive collaboration and communication across local, county, state, and federal agencies involved in the response. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2015;247:531–538)

Abstract

In October 2014, a health-care worker who had been part of the treatment team for the first laboratory-confirmed case of Ebola virus disease imported to the United States developed symptoms of Ebola virus disease. A presumptive positive reverse transcription PCR assay result for Ebola virus RNA in a blood sample from the worker was confirmed by the CDC, making this the first documented occurrence of domestic transmission of Ebola virus in the United States. The Texas Department of State Health Services commissioner issued a control order requiring disinfection and decontamination of the health-care worker's residence. This process was delayed until the patient's pet dog (which, having been exposed to a human with Ebola virus disease, potentially posed a public health risk) was removed from the residence. This report describes the movement, quarantine, care, testing, and release of the pet dog, highlighting the interdisciplinary, one-health approach and extensive collaboration and communication across local, county, state, and federal agencies involved in the response. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2015;247:531–538)

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Barton Behravesh (CBartonBehravesh@cdc.gov).

The Texas Division of Emergency Management, the City of Dallas Animal Services, and the Dallas County Emergency Operations Center provided assistance. The AVMA organized the Ebola Companion Animal Response Plan Working Group, which provided constructive discussion and input during the quarantine period and generated additional recommended protocols on the basis of this experience.

The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the CDC.

The authors thank Dr. David A. Norwood for assistance in sample testing; Lieutenant Colonel Kathleen Gibson, Elizabeth Grimes, Matthew Becker, and Sergeant Michael McNaney for efforts to develop an Ebola virus testing capacity for military working dogs and the initial verification of testing of dog blood; and Dr. Eleanor Green for providing support to the Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team.