Ebola is a type of hemorrhagic fever. It’s not supposed to cause uninfected politicians to lose their minds and yet dot dot dot
Politics inevitably inserts itself into anything insertable and ebola hysteria is no exception. Here in SC, one of our own pols is calling for the immediate execution of patients infected with ebola. Not because science tells us this is indicated, but because – well, I’m not 100% clear on the reasoning there.
Last night, news from Spain emerged that the country’s sole patient infected with ebola – a nurse who is receiving treatment at a hospital and whose husband has been quarantined for observation – owns a dog named Excalibur. And authorities want to kill Excalibur because he lived with someone who tested positive for the virus.
The NY Times reports:
The husband has also led calls for the Madrid health authorities not to euthanize the couple’s dog, Excalibur, who was left at their home. The authorities said in a statement on Tuesday that they had ordered that the dog be put down as a precautionary measure, but there has been no confirmation that the order was carried out. A social media campaign has sprung up to spare Excalibur until it can be proved he has Ebola. One of the top hashtags on Twitter worldwide on Wednesday morning was #SalvemosaExcalibur.
As far as I know, there is no available science on the subject of whether a dog who has lived with a person infected with ebola can cause anyone else to get sick with the virus. Given that, there appears to be no scientific basis for killing Excalibur “as a precautionary measure”. In fact the opposite is true: Quarantining and testing Excalibur’s blood and saliva could help to answer a question where scientists currently have penciled in a question mark – Can dogs spread ebola to humans?
Quarantining dogs is commonplace and relatively easy to do in developed countries such as Spain. The quarantine would serve as the precautionary measure authorities say they desire. The subsequent testing would provide vital information for health care professionals and authorities concerned with managing ebola outbreaks.
All of this is in addition to the fact that Excalibur is a sentient being with a right to live. Full stop.
In addition to the Twitter campaign to save Excalibur, an online petition has garnered 300,000 signatures in 24 hours and dozens of protesters have gathered outside Excalibur’s home, in an effort to protect his right to live.
The message is clear: Even in the face of ebola hysteria, the so-called irresponsible public, whom shelter directors blame for the systematic killing they do, does not want pets needlessly killed. The public believes that dogs have a right to live and considers them family. And they will make their voices heard. Shelter directors killing pets for convenience and blaming the public for your failure to do your jobs, take heed. Politicians providing cover for the killing, ditto. Your power to act in defiance of the will of the people is diminishing every day.