Liberia: Dogs Feed On Dead Ebola Victims

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The Published Study (CDC Ebola Virus Antibody Prevalance In Dogs And Humans)  ” found evidence that dogs can be infected by the Ebola virus, a finding that raises important human health
issues.”

The report went on to say that  “Given the frequency of contact between humans and domestic dogs, canine Ebola infection must be considered as a potential risk factor for human infection and virus spread. Human infection could occur through licking, biting, or grooming”.

The residents of the Mount Barclay Community within the Johnsonville Township, outside of Monrovia woke up on last Friday morning in total dismay when the remains of dead Ebola victims were reportedly seen, eaten by dogs, something reminiscent of the brutal civil war here, when dogs ate dead bodies on the streets.

The Liberian Government, through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, buried some unaccounted-for corpses, suspected to have died from the Ebola Virus in that township few weeks ago.

The burial was done in a hurry at night following a standoff in the day between residence and the Ministry of Health burial team. The former had refused to grant the authority a piece of land to carry out the burial. The dogs, in their numbers, were seen pulling the bodies out of the shadowed grave and hastily eating them.

A resident, who spoke to the NewDawn, said that the action of the dogs has posed a serious health hazard to the entire Mount Barclay Community. Mr. Alfred Wiah noted that the dogs could easily spread the virus through further interactions with community dwellers.

According to Mr. Wiah, upon discovery of the dogs’ behavior, some young men immediately contacted the Health Ministry, but to no avail. The young men also attempted to kill all of the dogs, but some escaped the scene, making the terrain very scary for the residents.

During the 2001-2002 outbreak of Ebola in Gabon, the CDC observed that several Dogs were highly exposed to the Ebola virus by eating infected dead animals. 439 Dogs were sampled and screened for the ebola virus.   As there had never been any documented cases of dogs carrying the Ebola virus before, the crosscount of 439 Dogs covered a cross section of Wild dogs used for hunting and Domestic dogs including 102 Dogs from France: to introduce a negative count.

The Published Study (CDC Ebola Virus Antibody Prevalance In Dogs And Humans) and,  “found evidence that dogs can be infected by the Ebola virus, a finding that raises important Human Health issues.”

The report went on to say that  “Given the frequency of contact between humans and domestic dogs, canine Ebola infection must be considered as a potential risk factor for human infection and virus spread. Human infection could occur through licking, biting, or grooming.”

Asymptomatically infected dogs could be a potential source of human Ebola outbreaks and of virus spread during human outbreaks, which could explain some epidemiologically unrelated human cases.

Dogs might also be a source of human Ebola outbreaks, such as the 1976 Yambuku outbreaks in Democratic Republic of Congo, the 1995 Kikwit outbreak, some outbreaks that occurred in 1996 and 2004 in Gabon and Republic of Congo, and the 1976, 1979, and 2004 outbreaks in Sudan, the sources of which are still unknown.

Together, these findings strongly suggest that dogs should be taken into consideration during the management of human Ebola outbreaks.

 

 

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