International health experts arrive in Pangasinan for ebola reston virus probe - PIA Information Services - Philippine Information Agency
PIA Press Release<cite cite="http://www.pia.gov.ph/default.asp?m=12&r=&y=&mo=&fi=p090112.htm&no=34">PIA Information Services - Philippine Information Agency</cite>
International health experts arrive in Pangasinan for ebola reston virus probe
By Danny O. Sagun
Lingayen, Pangasinan (12 January) --
International health experts are in town to conduct further investigation and re-assessment on the reported existence of Ebola Reston virus in the province.
Led by Dr. Williams White, senior staff veterinarian of the Food and Animal Organization (FAO), the team in coordination with the provincial government and concerned national government agencies is on a 10-day mission starting last January 6 "to work with their counterparts from the Philippines to address the issue through field and laboratory investigation and look for the possible source of the virus, its transmission, virulence and natural habitats, in order to provide appropriate guidance for animal and human health protection."
Dr. Lyndon Lee-Suy of the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control of the health department told Provincial Administrator Rafael Baraan that the Philippine government had requested the assistance of the international technical experts on human and animal health from the FAO to assist in investigating further the presence of the virus in the province, particularly in barangay Parian in Manaoag town.
The virus was discovered in October last year from two farms in Pangasinan and Bulacan which are now quarantined for further assessment and thorough investigation by the experts.
White said the ebola reston virus is a "unique animal disease that never existed anywhere in the world but detected only here in the Philippines."
The mission, he said, is to determine how the virus came out, its behavior and characteristics and the risks to exposed animals and humans.
Epidemiologist Dr. Boris Pavilin however assured the public that the virus is a non-fatal animal disease unlike the ebola virus found in monkeys in Africa.
The team is set to visit the Parian farm in Manaoag where 70 out of 341 pigs will be slaughtered to collect blood samples and tissues for further laboratory examinations.
Dr. Lee-Suy also assured the public that pork is safe for human consumption if handled properly and cooked thoroughly.
The members of the team are Dr. Mario Musa, Dr. Kate Glynn of the World Organization for Animal Health.