No announcement yet.

Phillipines - Hogs Found to Have Ebola Virus

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #46
    Re: Phillipines - Hogs Found to Have Ebola Virus

    International health experts arrive in Pangasinan for ebola reston virus probe - PIA Information Services - Philippine Information Agency
    PIA Press Release

    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.

    <cite cite="">PIA Information Services - Philippine Information Agency</cite>


    • #47
      Re: Phillipines - Hogs Found to Have Ebola Virus

      Negros Occidental hogs found free from Ebola Reston virus - PIA Information Services - Philippine Information Agency
      PIA Press Release

      Negros Occidental hogs found free from Ebola Reston virus

      Bacolod City (14 January) --

      Negros Occ. Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena declared hogs in the province remain free from the Ebola Reston virus that hit hog farms in Luzon.

      Being free from such virus, consumption of pork in Negros Occ. is safe but warned buyers to always check the animal products they buy as a precautionary measure.

      Animal products going into the province have been strictly monitored since the reported outbreak of the virus late last year as other animal diseases like, Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) are also on the watch list of banned items.

      The Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) has also been coordinating with the higher office in Manila to prepare the province for any eventualities and see to it that the provincial government is able respond to emergencies.

      Bago City Veterinarian Eliezer De la Cruz told PIA that some years ago monkeys from the Philippines sere sent to Reston, Virginia, USA for study and scientists there discovered the Ebola virus from the primate and named it after the place, Reston, where the virus was discovered.

      He said Bago City is also on alert for Ebola as a great number of hogs are raised in their area. The city is also negative of Ebola virus case, so far, he disclosed.

      The Reston type, however, is not fatal compared to the Ebola virus found in Africa.

      <cite cite="">PIA Information Services - Philippine Information Agency</cite>


      • #48
        Re: Phillipines - Hogs Found to Have Ebola Virus

        UN animal experts here to check on ebola case - PIA Information Services - Philippine Information Agency
        PIA Press Release

        UN animal experts here to check on ebola case

        By Venus May H. Sarmiento
        Pangasinan (14 January) --

        International animal and human health experts are in the country on a 10-day investigative work on the Ebola Reston virus found in several hog farms in Pangasinan and Bulacan provinces to determine if the strain could pose any danger of contamination to people at all.

        The experts who come from the United Nations, World Health Organization and World Organization for Animal Health were in Pangasinan Thursday to check out the situation at the affected piggery in Manaoag town and see if quarantine measures are adequately implemented.

        The team, according to Reldrin Morales, chief of the field operations group of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) will find out if the ebola Reston vrus is still present in the farm thru the collection of several samples.

        BAI Director Davinio Catbagan, speaking to media in Manila, said the foreign team is set to make the verification thru the slaughter of about 140 pigs in the quarantine areas.

        Initial tests made by local authorities in late December on the pigs and animal handlers at the farms showed no virus or signs of transmission so far. None of the pigs have died since.

        The discovery of the ebola virus in the pigs in October last year was incidental. Tissue samples of dead pigs were submitted to the U.S. sometime last year as a routine procedure to check for another virus that was suspected behind the death of some hogs earlier from unknown or uncertain causes.

        William White, senior staff veterinarian of the United States Department of Agriculture who leads the visiting foreign team of experts assigned to Pangasinan, said the tissue samples of the dead hogs earlier checked in U.S. laboratories were being initially investigated for virus of another swine disease called porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome.

        The animal health scientists stumbled on the ebola Reston strain in the process, White narrated. "Coincidentally, we came across Ebola-Reston. It's there but we do not know what it means," White said. The Department of Health, also in October, had assured the public the discovery of the ebola reston strain in Luzon pig farms poses no immediate danger to humans.

        First discovered, also in U.S. animal lab facilities, from tissue samples of crab-eating monkeys traced to have come from south of Manila in 1989, the ebola reston virus has caused no illness among Filipinos and remained simply as "an animal health issue," the DOH said.

        The recent discovery of the virus in Philippine hogs has however stirred interest of world health experts who now want to know its real mode of transmissions among the animals, its degree of virulence and possible habitat.

        So far, animal health authorities have yet to determine any distinct symptoms of the onset of the disease. There are three other known sub-types of ebola known worldwide, aside from the Reston strain. These are the Zaire, Sudan and Cote d'Ivoire strains that have caused widespread deaths thru fatal hemorrhagic fever in humans in other parts of the world, particularly in Africa.

        <cite cite=" ">PIA Information Services - Philippine Information Agency</cite>


        • #49
          Re: Phillipines - Hogs Found to Have Ebola Virus

          UN experts test blood sample of 600 pigs - PIA Information Services - Philippine Information Agency
          PIA Press Release

          UN experts test blood sample of 600 pigs

          City Of Malolos (14 January) --

          United Nations (UN) technical experts yesterday conducted microscopy of blood serum sample from 600 live pigs from a farm in Pandi, Bulacan for further studies on the presence of ebola reston virus (ERV).

          With this laboratory test, these experts, who were deployed in the Philippines for a joint mission to further study ERV, are now more than half way through in their 10-day field investigation in the affected hog farms.

          Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) said preliminary results of the said laboratory test are expected to come out after a few weeks.

          Since this is the first case of ERV found outside monkeys, experts from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO) arrived in the country on January 6 to provide technical assistance through an investigation in the affected locations of Bulacan and Pangasinan.

          The team of UN experts are comprised of epidemiologists, laboratory specialists veterinarians and food safety and public health and risk communication experts.

          At the same time, the international experts reiterated that eating pork is safe because the said virus is not contagious to humans.

          In a statement issued by them, they urged the consumers to purchase meat from National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) accredited outlets. Further, the pork should be properly handled and cooked at a minimum of 70°C because most viruses, including ERV is quickly killed when heated.

          Meanwhile, according to Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Felipe Bartolome, only a very small number of pigs from an estimated population of 4,800 swines in Pandi, Bulacan was discovered to be affected.

          As a precautionary measure, he added that the farm has already been in quarantine since December 10 and local officials continue to monitor the developments to prevent the spread.

          The detection of ERV in swine was confirmed in October after samples of blood and tissues from 70 pigs in the province and 70 from Pangasinan were submitted to the Bureau of Animal Industry for a series of tests then later on sent to Plum Island in Atlanta, USA for further confirmation.

          The Departments of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Health (DOH) will continue to monitor the developments, provide regular updates and an exit press conference will take place at the end of the mission to inform the public about the outcome and recommendations of the team of experts.

          <cite cite="">PIA Information Services - Philippine Information Agency</cite>


          • #50
            Re: Phillipines - Hogs Found to Have Ebola Virus


            Published online 21 January 2009 | Nature 457, 364-365 (2009) | doi:10.1038/457364b

            Ebola outbreak has experts rooting for answers
            Virus subtype suspected in Philippine swine.
            David Cyranoski

            When the Ebola Reston virus was discovered in pigs in the Philippines last year, it marked the virus's first known foray outside primates, and raised fears of a potential threat to human health.

            Last week, a joint mission of 22 international health and veterinary experts returned from investigating the outbreak with more questions than answers about the virus's pathology and epidemiology.

            The Ebola Reston virus was first discovered, in 1989, in crab-eating macaques imported to the United States from the Philippines. Since then, the virus has killed most infected monkeys, yet had no effect on the 25 people that it infected — unlike three of the four other strains of Ebola, which kill between 25% and 90% of the humans they infect.

            Because few people come into close contact with primates in the Philippines, the risk of catching Ebola Reston in this way is relatively low. By contrast, the appearance of the virus in an important livestock species was unexpected and worrying, says Pierre Rollin, an Ebola expert at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, who was part of the mission to the Philippines. "We never thought that pigs could be infected," he says.

            Once inside the pig, it may be possible for the virus to mutate into a version that is deadly to humans, as the avian influenza virus is thought to have done. "And we still don't know what it might do to someone who is immunocompromised by HIV or by drugs," Rollin adds.

            But there seems to be little threat to human health from the current form of the virus. It is destroyed by cooking, and there is no evidence of symptoms in pig handlers, who will soon be tested to find out if they have developed antibodies to the virus.

            The investigation into the Ebola Reston infections began after farmers in the Philippines reported high mortality rates in their pigs in 2008. In September, samples from 28 dead pigs were sent to the Plum Island Animal Disease Center in New York, where researchers found evidence of the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, also known as blue-ear pig disease, which has seen many outbreaks in Asia in recent years. But in six of the samples they also found Ebola Reston. This virulent, biosafety-level-4 pathogen requires special laboratory facilities, so the pig samples were rushed to the CDC labs in Atlanta for further analysis.

            Despite the presence of other diseases in the samples — including swine fever, and the porcine circovirus type II — Rollin thinks that Ebola Reston is to blame for the pigs' deaths because histological samples showed that the virus had pervaded the spleen, similar to its mode of attack in monkeys. Further pathology tests are due to begin in spring at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong, Victoria.

            The infected pigs came from several farms on the island of Luzon, and on 13 January, health officials collected blood and tissue samples from hundreds of apparently healthy pigs there. Although Rollin does not expect to find the virus itself in these samples, the pigs may carry antibodies that should indicate an approximate mortality rate associated with exposure.

            Rollin suspects that, as is the case with monkeys, the infections resulted from contact with a reservoir of the virus, rather than spreading from animal to animal.
            In 2005, outbreaks of human Ebola in Gabon and the Republic of the Congo were traced back to colonies of bats (E. M. Leroy et al. Nature 438, 575–576; 2005). "It's almost certainly the case [in the Philippines]," says Rollin.

            The virus is likely to be spread by bat droppings falling into the pigs' feed, and the threat of infection could be reduced by moving fruit trees, where the bats roost, away from pig farms, or by putting roofs on pig enclosures. "We can't exterminate it, we just have to learn how to avoid it,"
            says Rollin.


            • #51
              Re: Phillipines - Hogs Found to Have Ebola Virus

              Hog farm worker has Ebola-Reston
              First time strain infects humans

              Agence France-Presse
              First Posted 15:31:00 01/23/2009

              Filed Under: Diseases, Health
              MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE) A pig farm worker has tested positive for the Ebola-Reston virus, Health Secretary Francisco Duque and the World Health Organization said Friday.
              The strain is different from the Ebola sub-types found in Africa that cause deadly hemorrhagic fever in humans.
              Duque told a news conference that the farm worker carries the virus's antibodies in his blood.
              "Otherwise he is healthy and has no sign of any sickness," he said.
              Duque would not name the man or give his age.
              The announcement was made at the conclusion of a World Health Organization-led mission to the Philippines that investigated the viral outbreak on pig farms.
              The government earlier quarantined several farms in the northern Philippine towns of Pandi and Talavera after 6,000 swine there were found to carry the Ebola-Reston virus.
              This Ebola strain, which is found only in the Philippines, had been confined to monkeys.
              But the latest outbreak among pigs was the first time it has jumped species and infected humans.
              Ebola-Reston was first detected in 1989 in laboratory monkeys sent from the Philippines to Reston, Virginia in the United States.



              • #52
                Re: Phillipines - Hogs Found to Have Ebola Virus

                Filipino tests positive for Ebola, experts worried

                23 Jan 2009 T

                Source: Reuters

                MANILA, Jan 23 (Reuters) - At least one person has tested positive for the Ebola-Reston virus in the Philippines, where the disease has broken out in pigs at two farms north of the capital, the government said on Friday.

                Health Secretary Francisco Duque told a news conference that there was little immediate health risk but experts warned the virus' jump to humans was a concern.

                "This presents a negligible risk to human health," Duque said.

                Experts from the World Health Organisation, World Organisation for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organisation, all U.N. agencies, ended a 10-day field test at the two farms over the weekend after Ebola-Reston was found there last year.

                It is the first time the virus has been found outside monkeys and the first time it has been found in pigs. The virus had previously jumped from monkeys to humans but it is the first case of a jump from hogs.

                Duque said at least 50 workers in the two farms were exposed to the virus, but only one person tested positive. This person had not shown any symptoms, he said.

                Experts said the jump was a concern even if the Ebola-Reston strain of the virus is not as deadly as other strains of the disease, which can cause incurable haemmorrhagic fever and have a mortality rate of 25 to 90 percent.
                "Viruses jumping across species is always worrying," said Lo Wing-lok, an infectious diseases expert in Hong Kong."If it continues to do so, the virus will adapt to the human body or may mutate to become more transmissable among humans." Although human cases of Ebola Reston in the past have been mild, Lo warned against any complacency.

                "We can't say for sure that it is not dangerous to man, we have to follow developments very closely," Lo said. "In the past, the infections happened to a very small number of people.

                "But this virus may get magnified in swine and we could get a higher-density virus in the environment and more cases of human infection can occur," he said.

                “Addressing chronic disease is an issue of human rights – that must be our call to arms"
                Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief The Lancet

                ~~~~ Twitter:@GertvanderHoek ~~~ ~~~


                • #53
                  Re: Phillipines - Hogs Found to Have Ebola Virus


                  Q+A- Should the outbreak of Ebola in Philippines be a concern?

                  23 Jan 2009

                  Source: Reuters

                  SINGAPORE, Jan 23 (Reuters - A Filipino farm worker has been found infected by the Ebola-Reston virus that was discovered in pigs at two farms north of Manila last year.

                  It was the first time Ebola-Reston was found outside monkeys, but the government said the health risk was negligible. The infected man had not shown any symptoms and was healthy, officials said.

                  Here are some questions and answers on the disease

                  What is the Ebola Reston virus?

                  - There are five distinct species of the Ebola virus: Zare, Sudan, Cte d'Ivoire, Bundibugyo and Reston. The Zare, Sudan and Bundibugyo species have been associated with large Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) outbreaks in Africa with high mortality rates of between 25 percent and 90 percent while Cte d'Ivoire and Reston have not.

                  How is Ebola-Reston different from the Ebola virus that was responsible for many deaths in Africa?

                  - The Reston species can infect humans but no serious illness or death in humans have been reported to date. During outbreaks of the Reston strain in monkeys in the 1990s, a small number of people (around 25) were found to have antibodies against Ebola Reston. This means they had been infected by the virus and their body had produced an immune response. However, only one person had mild, flu-like symptoms. This person fully recovered. The other people who tested positive for antibodies did not have any symptoms or illness.

                  What's different this time?

                  - This is the first time that Ebola-Reston has been found in pigs and a pig farm worker has tested positive for Ebola Reston antibodies, which means that the worker was probably infected by a pig, although there is no proof of this. Pigs are worrisome because they are mixing vessels for many types of viruses and bacteria and if left uncontrolled, experts fear Ebola-Reston could mutate into a form that is more transmissible among people.

                  Who and what are at risk?

                  - Unlike monkeys, pigs are farmed for food and far more people are exposed to them, which puts them at risk of getting infected if the epidemic in pigs is not under control.

                  What precautions can be taken?

                  - Basic good hygiene practices and food handling measures. Ebola viruses are normally transmitted via contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of an infected animal or person. In all situations, even in the absence of identified risks, meat handling and preparation should be done in a clean environment (table top, utensils, knives) and meat handlers should follow good personal hygiene practices (e.g. clean hands, clean protective clothing). In general, hands should be regularly washed while handling raw meat.

                  Pork from healthy pigs is safe to eat as long as either the fresh meat is cooked properly (i.e. 70 degrees Celsius in all part of the food, so that there is no pink meat and the juices run clear), or, in the case of uncooked processed pork, national safety standards have been met during production, processing and distribution.

                  Meat from sick pigs or pigs found dead should not be eaten and should not enter the food chain or be given to other animals.

                  (Sources: Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the World Health Organisation) (Reporting by Tan Ee Lyn; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Sanjeev Miglani)

                  “Addressing chronic disease is an issue of human rights – that must be our call to arms"
                  Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief The Lancet

                  ~~~~ Twitter:@GertvanderHoek ~~~ ~~~


                  • #54
                    Re: Phillipines - Hogs Found to Have Ebola Virus

                    Hunt for Ebola virus expanded
                    Tests for Ilocos, Central and Southern Luzon
                    By Carmela Reyes, Tonette Orejas
                    Central Luzon Desk
                    First Posted 21:09:00 03/07/2009

                    PANDI, Bulacan -- As the 6,210th pig was slaughtered at 8:15 p.m. Friday on a farm in the village of Sto. Ni&#241;o here, agriculture and health officials began to focus on a larger task of hunting and stopping the spread of the Ebola-Reston virus to other parts of country.

                    Dr. Eric Tayag, chief of the Department of Health's National Epidemiology Center, said the virus has been contained in a pig farm here after a 70-person team, working six straight days, completed the extermination of more than 6,000 pigs.

                    That unprecedented measure by government, done to prevent further the spread of the virus from monkeys to pigs and humans, is unfinished, he said.

                    Tayag said the DoH and the Bureau of Animal Industry will proceed to track down the virus in other areas.

                    "We will hunt the virus wherever it is. BAI will conduct random sampling in the rest of Bulacan, Region 3 (Central Luzon), Region 1 (Ilocos), and Region 4 (Southern Tagalog)," he said in a telephone interview on Saturday.

                    "We are going to answer the questions: Has it spread in Bulacan? Has it spread to other regions? How wide has it spread? Aalamin natin kung saan pa (We'll try to know where else the virus is)," Tayag added.

                    Random sampling will start as soon as BAI receives 20,000 testing kits from the World Health Organization, he said.

                    Dr. Davinio Catbagan, BAI director, said they would take blood samples from pigs in 566 backyard farms in other parts of Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, and Tarlac to check the presence of the virus.

                    Tayag belied reports that six workers in the Pandi farm got ill because of the virus before or during the culling that began on March 1.

                    He said the virus was contracted by two farm workers in Pandi and one each in Valenzuela City and Pangasinan. Two workers in slaughterhouses in Cabanatuan City and Pangasinan also caught the virus.

                    "They had positive antibodies so they managed to fight [the virus]. Ebola-Reston has yet to cause illness in humans. This is the reason why our government is aggressive and doing very, very early detection and preventive measures," Tayag said.

                    To make sure that the virus has been eliminated in the farm, Catbagan said the four-hectare facility would be disinfected starting Saturday up to next week.

                    Blowtorches will be used to extinguish the virus that may have settled in the cracks of the pens, Tayag said.

                    "It will take a few weeks or months before the BAI and DoH will decide if the farm can open again," he said.

                    Once the farm is allowed to operate again, Tayag said a new stock of healthy pigs would be put in place. The new stock, he said, would be monitored.

                    "We will disinfect the farm, put in a new stock of healthy pigs and observe them," he said.

                    The farm owner, in a telephone interview on Friday, said he has yet to receive compensation promised by the government, through the BAI, for the culled pigs. The owner could not be reached on Saturday.

                    As for the farm in Pangasinan, it has been quarantined since November or almost the same time the virus was detected in the Pandi farm, Tayag said.

                    BAI has also taken blood samples from the hogs in the Pandi farm so the agency and the DoH can gather reagents for testing and eventually develop vaccines against the virus, he said.

                    The 70-person team -- comprised of BAI personnel, volunteers, farm workers, and policemen -- has started undergoing a second round of psycho-social debriefing.

                    When the disinfection is done by next week, members of the culling team are required to monitor their body temperatures daily for 21 days. They are allowed to return to their families and work places, Tayag said.

                    "I feel relieved after the last pig was out. Tigil bantay na kami (We're done with the monitoring task). We're out of the hot zone, done with working under the hot sun or feeling pressures from the shots (from stun and real guns)," he said.

                    "I also feel relieved that no untoward incident has happened. No worker was injured. We have also satisfied the mapanuring (critical) media. They cooperated. They toed the line by being patient. We congratulate the media," he added.

                    Catbagan described the depopulation process as "from good to best."

                    "This was the first time that we did this process on pigs and on a large population at that… There were initial problems, like malfunctioning equipment, but we managed to address it. The process ran smoothly until the end," he said.

                    Tayag thanked animal welfare advocates who monitored the process.

                    "Konting mali sa paghawak ng baboy, kinakantyawan na kami (They would call our attention even to the slightest mishandling of the pigs). I hope they understand this is not a slaughterhouse. This is a hot zone where the preservation of the human species comes first," he said.

                    "Meanwhile, let's eat pork and enjoy it, too," Tayag said.



                    • #55
                      Re: Phillipines - Hogs Found to Have Ebola Virus

                      <TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD height=14 width="100%"><TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD width="100%"></TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">Da Places Hog Farms Across
                      Luzon Under Close Watch

                      </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Saturday, March 14, 2009
                      </TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%"> </TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">Da Places Hog Farms Across
                      Luzon Under Close Watch

                      </TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">Bureau Of Animal Industry Director Catbagan Says Combined Swine Inventory Is About 3 Million Pigs
                      </TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">By Ira Karen Apanay, Senior Reporter<?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = O /><O:P> </O:P>

                      THE Department of Agriculture (DA) on Friday has placed under surveillance thousands of hog farms across Luzon to be sure that the Ebola-Reston virus is not spreading to other swine farms. <O:P> </O:P>
                      Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) Director Davinio Catbagan said the BAI would cover Central Luzon, the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) and Pangasinan because these areas cover the bulk of the country’s hog population. <O:P> </O:P>
                      Combined swine inventory in these areas is about three million pigs, he added. <O:P> </O:P>
                      However, Catbagan said govern­ment’s plan to cover more areas nationwide will depend on laboratory kits that the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States will be sending here. <O:P> </O:P>
                      He explained that CDC is the only company that produces the kits needed for such kind of animal tests. <O:P> </O:P>
                      The scope of our surveillance work and our decision to cast a wider net in carrying out this task will depend on their commitment to us because it is the only institution in the world that can produce the test kits,” Catbagan said. <O:P> </O:P>
                      Catbagan said Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap would ask the US government to ensure the supply of test kits for the sampling of the 30,000 pigs that will be initially covered by the surveillance work. <O:P> </O:P>
                      He stressed that the CDC has delivered on its commitment to help the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in conducting the tests on the initial batch of pig samples that were used by the government to check the presence of the Ebola-Reston virus. <O:P> </O:P>
                      The Agriculture department slaughtered 6,210 pigs infected with Ebola-Reston virus last week in Pandi, Bulacan to stop the virus from further spreading. <O:P> </O:P>
                      Catbagan said it would take the farm in Pandi, Bulacan at least three to six months to return to normal piggery operations because the BAI would still have to conduct a series of exhaustive tests to ensure that the site is already free of Ebola-Reston virus. <O:P> </O:P>
                      After cleaning, disinfecting and decontaminating the farm, Cat­bagan said the farm would be left vacant for a period of at least one-and-a-half months. <O:P> </O:P>
                      Following this period, he said the BAI would place a small batch of “sentinel pigs” inside the farm and then subject these animals to a series of sampling protocols after two months to ensure that the area is entirely free of the virus. <O:P> </O:P>
                      “If all the tests come out negative, then this could be a good indication that the farm can return to normal activities,” Catbagan said. <O:P> </O:P>
                      He said the provincial government of Bulacan has pledged to provide assistance to the displaced workers of the Pandi farm in cash and other forms of aid such as academic scholarships for their children. <O:P> </O:P>
                      The farm owner has also promised to pay separation benefits for its workers while business operations are suspended, he said



                      • #56
                        Re: Phillipines - Hogs Found to Have Ebola Virus

                        Bulacan officials feast on Ebola Reston-free roasted pigs

                        <HR> | 03/11/2009 1:18 PM

                        After clearing a hog farm in Bulacan province of Ebola Reston-infected pigs, local officials recently gathered and dug into finger-licking good, virus-free roasted pigs.

                        The Bulacan provincial government said "it’s fiesta time" in Pandi town after the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) finished culling thousands of pigs that were found infected with the potent Ebola Reston virus.

                        After the BAI's announcement of the culling’s completion last Friday, Bulacan Governor Joselito Mendoza prepared several roasted pigs for the members of the province's peace and order council.

                        Mendoza, joined by the chief executives of Pandit, Pulilan and Plaridel town, local police officials and health officials, including Dr. Eric Tayag of the National Epidemiology Center, dug into crispy, juicy roasted hogs after the peace and order council.
                        The Bulacan government said the roasted pig feast is a sort of thanksgiving after the clearing of a Pandi pig farm, which was affected by the virus.

                        A total of 6,210 infected pigs were slaughtered by the BAI in a week-long culling operation at the Pandi hog farm.

                        BAI Director Davino Catbagan said the bureau and the Department of Health immediately started "disinfecting" the hog farm last Saturday. The disinfection will last for another week, he said.

                        Officials said the hog farm's operation will resume three to six months after the disinfection.

                        Catbagan said the BAI and the Department of Health (DOH) will move to other farms around Bulacan, Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog to make sure pigs in the areas are also safe from the Ebola Reston virus.

                        "After ng hog farm dito sa Pandi, iyong ibang hog farms naman at iyong ibang backyard farms din (After the Pandi hog farm, we will check other hog farms and backyard farms)," he said.
                        as of 03/11/2009