According to a report last Thursday by NBC News, the tallies for the Ebola response in Dallas are staggering. On Wednesday an expense list was released by the City of Dallas, which showed $27,000 was spent for the care of the dog of one of the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital nurses who contracted Ebola.
The first nurse to be diagnosed with the Ebola virus after caring for Eric Duncan, the Liberian national who died in October, was Nina Pham. She was owner of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Bentley. Despite no known cases of humans contracting the deadly virus from animals, the city erred on the side of caution with monitoring of Pham’s pet.
Because the dog was exposed to the virus during the time Pham was considered contagious, care for the pet included 21 days of monitoring for signs of the onset of the virus. $19,000 in private donations and grants will offset the cost of Bentley’s care to the city.
The Dallas HealthCare Daily listed the costs for the dog care as the second highest Ebola-related costs for Dallas. Hazmat crew services ranked first per their report at $58,596.90.
No one has stepped forward offering to pick up any of the costs besides that for the dog. However, a city spokesperson says officials are hopeful the state of Texas may reimburse Dallas for part of the total of $155,250.22 spent. City costs do not reflect the ultimate bill, which is predicted to surpass a million dollars for the Ebola-related crisis that began with the care and death of Eric Duncan. It ended with two nurses contracting the disease, downed planes, school closings, and the medical monitoring of countless numbers of people exposed, as well as a lawsuit from the family of Duncan.
President Obama’s handling of the Ebola crisis has been said to have impacted the midterm elections. In that election, Democrats lost handily and Republicans will have control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives after the turn of the year.