Earlier this month, we brought you the story of María Teresa Romero Ramos, the Spanish nurse who was the first person to be infected with ebola outside of Africa. Her story was especially heartbreaking because authorities chose to euthanize her dog in fear that he might spread the disease. Ramos is now disease-free. Her dog was euthanized amid protest.
Ramos has been quarantined since October 7 and tested negative for ebola on Sunday. Since then, she's been in recovery, a process which hospital officials say could take several days. Her emotional recovery is likely to take much longer, especially considering the fact that both Romero and her husband (as well as some very active protesters) believe that her case was not handled well and the fact that her dog, Excalibur, was euthanized. The couple plan to take Romero's case to court while frustrated healthcare workers are demanding the resignation of Health Minister Ana Mato for perceived incompetence in the handing of ebola in Spain.
The New York Daily News reports that Excalibur's euthanasia spurred intense protest both in person and online. Protesters gathered at Romero's apartment complex, created a hashtag and started a change.org petition that garnered more than 380,000 signatures. Romero's husband even convinced a veterinarian to speak on Excalibur's behalf on the radio. But it was no use.
Officials stated that Excalibur "sedated beforehand to avoid suffering."
There is no clear evidence that dogs can spread ebola, but one study suggests that canines can be infected without exhibiting symptoms.
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