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  • Phillipines - Hogs Found to Have Ebola Virus

    Source: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakin...t-on-hog-virus

    RP raises alert on hog virus
    Pork exports stopped
    By Amy R. Remo
    Philippine Daily Inquirer
    First Posted 22:19:00 12/10/2008

    MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine government warned consumers on Wednesday about the ebola reston virus, which was found to have infected four hog farms in Luzon.

    In a joint briefing, the Departments of Agriculture and of Health assured the public, however, that this low pathogenic strain was found to be "harmless" and "predominantly an animal health issue."

    "Even if you are exposed to this virus, you will not get sick. This is not like the ebola virus which had hit Africa years ago," officials stressed.

    As a precautionary measure, Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap said the DA placed on quarantine the four farms in Pandi, Bulacan; Manaoag, Pangasinan, and the towns of Cabanatuan and Talavera in Nueva Ecija.


    Yap, together with Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque, also advised consumers to buy meat only from accredited retail outlets; to properly handle and wash meat; and cook it thoroughly.

    Yap has assured that monitoring of Bulacan hog farms will continue until all areas or farms there are free of the virus.

    "I am confident that Visayas and Mindanao are not affected because since 1995, we have already stopped moving animals from Luzon to these two areas," he said,


    The agriculture chief said on Wednesday the Philippine government was suspending pork exports until ensuring virus-free hog products.

    "We have just started to look into the export market, so the industry will not lose anything. But we want to establish that we are responsible exporters," he said.

    Agriculture and health officials, along with representatives from the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization, explained that the ebola reston virus has been endemic to the Philippines and was detected in monkeys which the country had exported to the United States. This was in 1989, 1992, and 1996, they added.

    They, however, assured that of the 20 human handlers of the monkeys tested positive for ebola reston, only one manifested flu-like symptoms but had since fully recovered.

    "What is clear is that ebola reston does not cause death to humans. There is no clear evidence that this can be transferred to a person and cause a casualty," Yap stressed.


    Yap and Duque said they would write to the Paris-based Animal Health Organization to ask for support and technical assistance in clearing these farms and in eradicating the virus from the country.

    Food handlers and the public are advised to follow five food safety rules namely: to keep clean; separate raw and cooked food; cook meat thoroughly; keep food at safe temperature; and use safe water and select fresh food.

  • #2
    Re: Phillipines raises alert on hog virus

    The Reston ebolavirus, also referred to as Asian filovirus, Reston virus, or Ebola Reston—is suspected as either another subtype of the Ebola or a new filovirus of Asian origin.

    It was discovered in crab-eating macaques from Hazleton Laboratories (now Covance)[A] in 1989.

    This attracted significant media attention and led to the publication of The Hot Zone.

    Despite its status as a Level-4 organism, the Reston ebolavirus is non-pathogenic to humans and is only mildly fatal to monkeys;[1][2]

    the perception of its lethality was skewed due to the monkey's coinfection with Simian hemorrhagic fever virus (SHFV).[3]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebola_Reston
    “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 ~~~ GertvanderHoek@gmail.com ~~~

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Phillipines raises alert on hog virus

      Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, Philippines (12/10/2008) [OIE-WAHID]

      Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, Philippines

      [Full PDF document at LINK]

      Information received on 10/12/2008 from Mr Davinio P. Catbagan, Chief Veterinary Officer, Department of Agriculture, Office of the Director of the Bureau of Animal Industry, QUEZON CITY, Philippines

      § Summary

      Report type Immediate notification
      Start date 10/07/2008
      Date of first confirmation of the event 30/10/2008
      Report date 10/12/2008
      Date submitted to OIE 10/12/2008
      Reason for notification Unexpected increase in morbidity or mortality of a listed disease
      Causal agent Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus
      This event pertains to the whole country

      § Epidemiology
      Source of the outbreak(s) or origin of infection Unknown or inconclusive
      Introduction of new live animals

      § Epidemiological comments
      In the district of Sto Nino (Pandi municipality, Bulacan province), the mortality was mostly observed in piglets. In the district of Pinagpanaan (Talavera municipality, Nueva Ecija province), all animals were downers with clinical signs suggestive of Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS)/Classical swine fever/Porcine circovirus type 2.
      The Philippines has experienced a sudden increase in mortalities in pigs in the latter part of the second quarter of 2007 until the first quarter of 2008. The clinical signs exhibited by the diseased animals indicated atypical infection, which can be attributed to more than one pathogen.
      Samples from the outbreaks were sent to the USDA Plum Island laboratory.
      Results show that samples were positive for porcine circovirus type 2 and atypical PRRS virus, which is 98% homologous to the atypical PRRS virus isolated in China and Vietnam. With high morbidity and mortality observed similar to China and Vietnam, it was concluded that these outbreaks were most likely caused by atypical PRRS virus.
      The USDA Plum Island laboratory also reported to have isolated Reston Ebola virus from swine samples.
      Although considered of negligible public health importance, as indicated in the literatures and by the previous incident in the Philippines in a monkey farm in early 1990s with no human cases in spite of close contact with the monkeys, as a precautionary measure the BAI-DA (Bureau of Animal Industry – Department of Agriculture) and the DOH (Department of Health) immediately organised a team to investigate the affected areas.
      Samples were collected from people and animals in the affected areas. Serum samples from animal caretakers and other people exposed to the animals were collected and tested at the DOH-RITM (Department of Health - Research Institute for Tropical Medicine), and all indicated negative results to Ebola-Reston antibodies.
      Results from animals are still pending the arrival of kits for swine testing from CDC Atlanta (Centers for disease control and prevention), which have committed to send in the Philippines. All animals in the affected areas have been put under strict quarantine. The BAI-DA and DOH team will continue to conduct epidemiological investigation.

      § Increased Distribution
      Disease Impact: Increased - Province - Species - Change
      * Morbidity - BULACAN - Swine - 5%=>20%
      * Morbidity - NUEVA ECIJA - Swine - 5%=>100%
      * Mortality - BULACAN - Swine 5%=>20%

      § Control measures
      Measures applied Movement control inside the country
      Screening
      Vaccination in response to the outbreak (s): Administrative division - Species - Total Vaccinated - Details
      * BULACAN - Swine - 5000 - Ongoing

      Disinfection of infected premises/establishment(s)
      No treatment of affected animals

      Measures to be applied No other measures

      § Diagnostic test results
      Laboratory name and type Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Plum Island, New York (National laboratory)
      Tests and results: Species - Test - Test date - Result
      * Swine - virus isolation - 30/10/2008 - Positive

      § Future Reporting
      The event is continuing. Weekly follow-up reports will be submitted.
      -
      ------

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Phillipines raises alert on hog virus

        PHILIPPINES: EBOLA RESTON VIRUS FOUND IN PIGS, UPDATE (12/10/2008) [RSOE EDIS]
        Situation Update No. 1
        On 10.12.2008 at 20:56 GMT+2

        Ebola virus was found for the first time in pigs in the Philippines, showing the potentially lethal disease is capable of infecting domestic livestock. The Ebola-Reston strain turned up in swine samples tested at a U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratory in New York, said Davinio P. Catbagan, the Philippines’ chief veterinary officer, in a report filed yesterday with the World Organization for Animal Health.


        The strain is different from the Ebola known to kill humans in Africa, and the report cited no human cases.

        Still, Ebola is one of the most feared infectious diseases, and the occurrence in livestock has aroused interest among epidemiologists.

        The World Health Organization, the health agency of the United Nations, said it is looking into whether there’s any chance humans could have become infected.

        “While it’s believed that Ebola-Reston is primarily a disease of animals, we are working with the Philippines government to see if there are any potential risks to humans,” said Gregory Hartl, a spokesman for the WHO in Geneva.

        “At the moment, we believe the risks are quite low.”

        The pigs, some of which came from a district on the outskirts of Manila, were also infected with at least two more common diseases, Catbagan said.

        An outbreak of diseases beginning late last year wiped out entire herds in some cases.

        “We have more questions than we have answers at this stage,” said Barrie Carnat, a veterinarian with the World Organization for Animal Health, in a telephone interview from Paris.

        “It’s really unknown at this point if Ebola is an incidental finding or if it had any role in the mortality of the pigs.”

        Carnat said it’s the first time Ebola has been reported in pigs.

        The USDA’s Plum Island laboratory, off Long Island, isolated Ebola-Reston from the swine samples.

        The virus subtype was discovered in the U.S. in 1989 in association with an outbreak of viral hemorrhagic fever among monkeys imported from the Philippines to Reston, Virginia. Although infection with this virus can be fatal in monkeys, it’s not known to cause severe disease in people.

        In contrast, infection with an Ebola strain from Africa usually causes death in 50 to 90 percent of people, according to the WHO.

        The Philippine report said the pig outbreak was “considered of negligible public health importance.”

        There’s no specific treatment or vaccine for the African illness, which causes high fevers, diarrhea and vomiting and often leads to severe internal bleeding.

        The Philippines Bureau of Animal Industry and the Department of Health organized a team to collect blood samples from people and animals in the affected areas, according to the report. None of the people caring for the animals had antibodies against Ebola-Reston, indicating that they hadn’t been infected.

        Animal tests haven’t been completed.

        All animals in the affected areas have been quarantined while officials conduct an epidemiological investigation into the outbreak.

        The pigs, from Santo Nino in Bulacan province and Pinagpanaan in Nueva Ecija province, were also infected with porcine circovirus type 2 and a type of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome similar to that which killed pigs in China and Vietnam during the past two years, according to the report.
        -
        <cite cite="http://visz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/woalert_read.php?cid=19554&lang=eng">RSOE EDIS</cite>

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Phillipines raises alert on hog virus

          A possible reference abstract, below:

          Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis. 2007 Sep;30(5-6):391-8. Epub 2007 Jul 3.

          Current knowledge on lower virulence of Reston Ebola virus
          (in French: Connaissances actuelles sur la moindre virulence du virus Ebola Reston).

          Morikawa S, Saijo M, Kurane I. - Department of Virology 1, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, 4-7-1 Gakuen, Musashimurayama, Tokyo 208-0011, Japan. morikawa@nih.go.jp

          Ebola viruses (EBOV) and Marburg virus belong to the family Filoviridae, order Mononegavirales.

          The genus Ebolavirus consists of four species: Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV), Sudan ebolavirus (SEBOV), Ivory Coast ebolavirus (ICEBOV) and Reston ebolavirus (REBOV).

          Three species of ebolaviruses, ZEBOV, SEBOV, ICEBOV, and Marburg virus are known to be extremely pathogenic in primates and humans and cause severe hemorrhagic fever leading up to case fatality rate of some 90%, while REBOV is thought to be pathogenic in Asian monkeys but not in African monkeys and humans.

          Recent studies indicated several factors involved in different virulence between African EBOV and REBOV.

          This article reviews the history, epidemiology, and virulence of REBOV.

          PMID: 17610952 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
          -
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1...ubmed_RVDocSum
          ------

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Phillipines raises alert on hog virus

            Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...efer=australia

            Ebola in Pigs Shows Deadly Virus Can Infect Domestic Livestock
            By Jason Gale

            Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Ebola virus was found for the first time in pigs in the Philippines, showing the potentially lethal disease is capable of infecting domestic livestock.

            The Ebola-Reston strain turned up in swine samples tested at a U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratory in New York, said Davinio P. Catbagan, the Philippines’ chief veterinary officer, in a report filed yesterday with the World Organization for Animal Health. The strain is different from the Ebola known to kill humans in Africa, and the report cited no human cases.

            Still, Ebola is one of the most feared infectious diseases, and the occurrence in livestock has aroused interest among epidemiologists. The World Health Organization, the health agency of the United Nations, said it is looking into whether there’s any chance humans could have become infected.

            “While it’s believed that Ebola-Reston is primarily a disease of animals, we are working with the Philippines government to see if there are any potential risks to humans,” said Gregory Hartl , a spokesman for the WHO in Geneva. “At the moment, we believe the risks are quite low.”


            The pigs, some of which came from a district on the outskirts of Manila, were also infected with at least two more common diseases, Catbagan said. An outbreak of diseases beginning late last year wiped out entire herds in some cases.

            “We have more questions than we have answers at this stage,” said Barrie Carnat, a veterinarian with the World Organization for Animal Health, in a telephone interview from Paris. “It’s really unknown at this point if Ebola is an incidental finding or if it had any role in the mortality of the pigs.”

            First Time in Pigs

            Carnat said it’s the first time Ebola has been reported in pigs. The USDA’s Plum Island laboratory, off Long Island, isolated Ebola-Reston from the swine samples. The virus subtype was discovered in the U.S. in 1989 in association with an outbreak of viral hemorrhagic fever among monkeys imported from the Philippines to Reston, Virginia.

            Although infection with this virus can be fatal in monkeys, it’s not known to cause severe disease in people.
            In contrast, infection with an Ebola strain from Africa usually causes death in 50 to 90 percent of people, according to the WHO.

            The Philippine report said the pig outbreak was “considered of negligible public health importance.”

            Internal Bleeding

            There’s no specific treatment or vaccine for the African illness, which causes high fevers, diarrhea and vomiting and often leads to severe internal bleeding.

            The Philippines Bureau of Animal Industry and the Department of Health organized a team to collect blood samples from people and animals in the affected areas, according to the report. None of the people caring for the animals had antibodies against Ebola-Reston, indicating that they hadn’t been infected.

            Animal tests haven’t been completed. All animals in the affected areas have been quarantined while officials conduct an epidemiological investigation into the outbreak.

            The pigs, from Santo Nino in Bulacan province and Pinagpanaan in Nueva Ecija province, were also infected with porcine circovirus type 2 and a type of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome similar to that which killed pigs in China and Vietnam during the past two years,
            according to the report.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Phillipines raises alert on hog virus

              Ebola virus strain found in Philippine swine [Channelnewsasia.com]
              Ebola virus strain found in Philippine swine

              Posted: 11 December 2008 1404 hrs
              MANILA:

              A strain of the Ebola virus has been found in pigs at a farm north of the Philippine capital Manila, the country's top agriculture official said Thursday.


              The Ebola-Reston strain, however, was believed to have affected only domestic livestock and had so far not jumped between species, said Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap.

              This was the first Ebola case in swine, and the government was closely working with the World Health Organisation and the World Organisation of Animal Health in carrying out further tests, Yap said.

              "This is the first time Ebola has been detected in pigs, but this is not a human health issue, but an animal health problem," Yap told local radio.

              "There is no evidence that this could jump to humans," he said, adding that Ebola-Reston was different from three other African strains that cause deadly haemorrhagic fever, which has led to hundreds of human deaths in Africa.

              Yap said the farm, on the main island of Luzon, was being closely monitored.

              Farm hands and butchers had been tested, but results have so far come back negative, he said.

              Other pigs on the farm were not infected, while old stocks of meat had been burned as a precaution, he said.

              Yap reminded the public to buy pork only from markets inspected by agricultural officials and to cook the meat thoroughly.

              This was not the first time that the Ebola-Reston strain was found in the Philippines, Yap said.

              Fifteen years ago, several Filipinos were infected by the virus that apparently jumped from local monkeys.

              Only one of them developed a cold, that later went away, Yap said.

              - AFP/yb
              <cite cite="http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/395583/1/.html">Channelnewsasia.com</cite>

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Phillipines raises alert on hog virus

                Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...Tiw&refer=asia

                Pig Ebola May Lead Scientists to ‘Elusive Reservoir’ of Virus


                By Jason Gale

                Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) -- The first known Ebola infections in pigs may help researchers answer a question that’s confounded them since the deadly virus was first discovered more than 30 years ago: where it comes from.

                International scientists will converge on farms in the Philippines to help local authorities discover how pigs contracted Ebola-Reston, a monkey-killing strain not known to harm people. The findings may help identify which species carries the virus in the wild without getting sick, enabling the pathogen to persist undetected in the environment, said Juan Lubroth, head of infectious diseases in the animal health unit of the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome.


                Knowing the natural host of Ebola will help people better protect themselves against one of the most-feared infectious diseases. African strains usually kill 50 percent to 90 percent of those infected through lethal bleeding and organ failure, according to the World Health Organization.

                “Since the 1970s, scientists, veterinarians, microbiologists and physicians have been looking at thousands of species to see if they can find this elusive reservoir, and we have been pretty much empty-handed,” Lubroth said in a telephone interview today. “This opens up avenues to delve into the ecology and do more searching.”

                Ebola was first recognized in 1976 after an outbreak near the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly known as Zaire.

                Thirteen years later, Ebola-Reston was discovered in the U.S. in association with an outbreak of viral hemorrhagic fever among monkeys imported from the Philippines to Reston, Virginia. The virus was found among Philippine monkeys in the U.S. again in 1990 and 1996, and in Italy in 1992. In October, for the first time, the strain was found in Philippine pigs.

                Pig-Ebola Nexus

                “What is the connection between the natural habitat of Ebola-Reston and swine production? That needs to be teased out in the Philippines,” Lubroth said.

                Ebola-Reston turned up in six of 28 swine samples tested at a U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratory in New York, said Davinio P. Catbagan, the Philippines’ chief veterinary officer. The infected pigs were traced to two commercial and two backyard farms in three provinces north of Manila, he said. Further testing found no new cases, including among 42 people involved in caring for the animals.

                “We’re still trying to find out how it came to the pigs,” Catbagan said in a telephone interview today.


                Both Ebola, and a related virus known as Marburg hemorrhagic fever, are thought to infect humans via primates.

                Snakes, Guinea Pigs

                Disease trackers have tested everything from snakes to guinea pigs in the search for an animal reservoir and have been repeatedly led back to caves, mines and bats.

                A 2005 study published in the journal Nature found evidence of symptomless infection by Ebola in three species of fruit bat in West Africa, indicating that these animals may be acting as a reservoir for the virus.

                “It would merit looking at it in the natural habitat in the Western Pacific further,” Lubroth said. “We are only scratching the surface.”

                The Philippines government said yesterday it would like technical assistance from the WHO, FAO and the World Organization for Animal Health in studying the disease and assessing what potential health risks it may pose.

                “At the moment, it’s not a dangerous pathogen, but we cannot be sure it will remain like this,” said Soe Nyunt-U, the WHO’s representative to the Philippines. “We have to make sure we understand the ecology of the virus really well.”


                To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Gale in Singapore at j.gale@bloomberg.net
                Last Updated: December 11, 2008 08:09 EST

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Phillipines raises alert on hog virus

                  <TABLE class=lan18 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="97%" align=center border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=hei22 vAlign=bottom height=25>Hogs found positive for Ebola virus in Philippines
                  </TD></TR><TR><TD bgColor=#ffffff height=4></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="50%" align=center border=0><TBODY><TR><TD height=8></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="97%" align=center border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width="48%">www.chinaview.cn 2008-12-11 15:22:33</TD><TD class=hui12 align=middle width="26%"> </TD><TD class=hui12 align=middle width="12%"> Print</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="80%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD height=20></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE class=lt14 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="97%" align=center border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=lt14>



                  MANILA, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Hogs in four Philippine piggery farms have been found positive for Ebola Reston virus, officials said on Thursday.
                  As of Wednesday evening, Ebola Reston cases were confirmed in four farms in Luzon, the northern Philippines, after six out of 28hogs tested positive for the virus.
                  Arthur Yap, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, allayed fears that the disease will be transferred to humans from infected hogs, Philippine TV network GMA News reported.
                  There has been no documented case on the virus being transmitted from hogs to humans, said the agriculture chief.
                  "This is an animal health problem and not a human issue," Yap said.
                  Yap added that most of the hog samples that were tested on Wednesday yielded negative results.
                  Meanwhile, he advised the public that pork meat should be properly cleaned and thoroughly cooked before they are eaten.
                  "The WHO (World Health Organization) said that the meat should be thoroughly cooked because the heat could kill the virus. The meat should likewise be properly handled and washed," Yap said.
                  On Thursday, the Bureau of Animal Industry set up "hog checkpoints" to prevent the transport of pigs from four piggery farms in Luzon for slaughter or breeding.
                  Soledad Agbayani, president of the Philippine Association of Hog Farmers, likewise said the Ebola Reston virus was not harmful to humans.
                  "The virus is not harmful to humans but to be sure, make sure the meat you eat is not 'double dead'," Agbayani told a local radio.
                  Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture has issued a ban on pork exports to other countries. The government was planning to export choice pork cuts to Singapore early next year. Ebola-Reston, a sub-type of the Ebola, was first discovered in 1989 from crab-eating macaques originating in the Philippines. Reportedly, it is non-pathogenic to humans and is only mildly fatal to monkeys.

                  </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="50%" align=center border=0><TBODY><TR><TD height=15></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
                  http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/20...t_10489427.htm

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Phillipines - Hogs Found to Have Ebola Virus

                    Commentary

                    http://www.recombinomics.com/News/12...ilippines.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Phillipines - Hogs Found to Have Ebola Virus

                      DA prepares support program for hog industry amid Ebola Reston case

                      12/12/2008 | 05:06 PM

                      MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Friday said it is working on a support program to assist hog producers in farms where the Ebola Reston virus had been detected.

                      Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap said incentives will also be provided to other growers to encourage them to participate in the concerted government program to stamp out the disease.

                      The planned program will include the acquisition of additional laboratory kits needed to check the presence of the virus among swine and a support package to help livestock growers whose infected hogs will be culled or destroyed by quick-response government teams led by the DA’s Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to prevent the spread of the Reston disease among animals.

                      This developed as executives of international health institutions such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) or World Animal Health Organization commended Secretaries Yap of the DA and Francisco Duque of the Department of Health (DOH) for their respective offices’ quick and appropriate action in containing the latest resurfacing of the Reston virus, which was earlier detected in two swine farms in certain parts of Luzon.

                      Officials of the DA and DOH along with these international health institutions have pointed out Wednesday night that the Reston virus “does not pose a significant public health risk."

                      Duque and Yap said this particular strain of the Ebola virus has been shown in the past to be “non-pathogenic," which means it is not harmful to humans.

                      Authorities say the Reston virus is entirely different from the three other Ebola subtypes, which are all potentially fatal to humans. Unlike the Zaire, Ivory Coast and Sudan strains, the Reston strain has not been found to be fatal like the three other strains or to have caused illnesses to humans in contact with the infected animals. It was first discovered in the Philippines in 1989 among crab-eating macaques or monkeys then being exported by the Laguna-based Ferlite Farms to the Hazleton Laboratories in Reston,Virginia .

                      The WHO and OIE consider the presence of the Reston virus in the Philippines as an “animal health issue and does not consider this a significant public health concern at this time."

                      At the end of a nine-hour consultative meeting with livestock industry leaders at the DA last Wednesday, WHO country representative to the Philippines Dr. Soe Nyunt spoke on behalf of OIE and FAO in thanking Yap and Duque for their efforts in immediately addressing the Reston issue.

                      The other experts present during the marathon meeting at the DA were Anthony Hazzard, WHO regional adviser for Food Safety; Carolyn Anne Coulombe, WHO technical officer (Risk Communications) Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response; and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) director Remigio Olveda.

                      AGAP party-list Rep. Nicanor Briones, who represented the subsector of small livestock stakeholders during the consultative meeting, also thanked Yap, Duque and WHO officials for educating the public about the Reston virus.

                      “I would like to thank Secretary Duque and Secretary Yap and the representatives of WHO for making this thing clear to the public para hindi matakot ang ating mga consumer (so as not to spook our consumers)," Briones said.

                      Earlier, Yap said that after finding out the presence of the Reston virus in the quarantined farms, 28 pig tissue samples taken from different locations in four different periods — May, June 4 and 26 and September — were sent to Center Disease Control (CDC) Plum Island in the US for testing. Only six samples were positive of the virus.

                      Additional samples sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Alabang, Muntinlupa, after these earlier tests were all found to be free of the Reston virus.

                      WHO experts led by Dr. Nyunt and Dr. Julie Hall, team leader of its Emerging Infectious Diseases Division, have confirmed during the Dec. 10 consultative meeting at the DA that, based on historical evidence, the Reston virus has been found to be “non-pathogenic" and does not cause illnesses to humans in the past.

                      Yap said the WHO has also declared that pork that is properly handled, washed and cooked is safe for human consumption because heat from adequate cooking kills viruses, including Reston .

                      In fact, Hazzard told a press briefing after the consultative meeting that consumers should be worried of normal bacteria and not of the Reston virus when eating undercooked pork.

                      “I think that if you undercooked pork, you have much more to worry about with the normal bacteria and normal parasites. Significantly more to worry about than Reston," he said.
                      As a matter of precaution, Yap has called on the public to report sick animals to their City and Provincial Veterinarians and to refrain from buying meats from stalls without National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) certifications.

                      Yap said that in general, meat from sick or already dead animals “regardless of whatever viruses these animals had been infected with" should never be eaten by people.

                      Yap and Duque, BAI Director Davinio Catbagan and Eric Tayag of the DOH National Epidemiology Center along with the international health experts met with officials of industry stakeholders like the National Federation of Hog Farmers, the Philippine College of Swine Practitioners or PCSP, Philippine Swine Producers Association, the Soro-soro Ibaba Development Cooperative, and the partylist organization Agriculture Sector Alliance of the Philippines (AGAP), to brief them on the official findings on the virus.

                      Yap pointed out that although “no current reports of unusual illnesses nor deaths in pigs have been reported, the DA and the DOH have engaged stakeholders in the hog industry, local and international health and animal experts, to assist the government in the pro-active eradication of this virus" and in the interest of transparency in government.

                      Besides tissue samples taken from pigs in the affected areas, Yap said tests were also done on the handlers in the farms where the virus originated; and even the butchers in the slaughterhouses where the animals were usually sent, as a precautionary measure. All the tests conducted on human samples yielded negative results for the presence of the Reston virus, he said.

                      Yap has ordered the BAI, together with the local government units (LGUs), to continually test pigs in their localities. Hogs in farms that have tested positive for the virus will be quarantined and will undergo a comprehensive inventory.

                      All pigs found to be infected will be destroyed and disposed of properly, Yap said.

                      As a precautionary measure, Yap had also suspended all Philippine pork exports until further notice. - GMANews.TV
                      http://www.gmanews.tv/story/139123/D...la-Reston-case

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Phillipines - Hogs Found to Have Ebola Virus

                        Pangasinan piggery farm quarantined due to ebola virus

                        December 11, 2008 6:45 pm by pna

                        MANAOAG, Pangasinan, Dec. 11 —- A 30-hectare piggery farm in Barangay Parian here was placed under quarantine starting on Thursday as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the dreaded ebola virus.

                        The move was undertaken after the Tropical Disease Institute of the Philippines (TDIP) examined all the hogs in the Lambino farm in this town and found out most of its swine were afflicted by ebola virus, believed to be the same virus that infected humans some years back in Africa.
                        The virus was discovered when specimens of hogs being raised in the Lambino farm, located just in the boundary of Manaoag to Mapandan town, were examined by TDIP and turned out positive of ebola.
                        Department of Agriculture Regional Director Cipriano Santiago rushed to the Lambino farm Thursday morning along with officials of the Bureau of Animal Industry and Department of Health and Municipal Health Office to check on the farm.
                        Joining them in the inspection were veterinary officers in Pangasinan and Manaoag town, the municipal agriculture officer and the Manaoag Police headed by Supt. Mateo Casupang.
                        Santiago immediately imposed the necessary quarantine on the farm to ensure that henceforth no hogs would be brought out for sale and no other hogs would come in till the same is lifted.
                        He said this means that the piggery farm would be closely monitored 24 hours a day to ensure that the requirement is strictly followed.
                        “The public have no reason to panic because henceforth we will not allow any hog to be brought out for sale in the market nor we allow additional stocks to be brought in,” Santiago said.
                        According to Santiago, the ebola virus that attacked the swine in the Lambino farm is a strain that affects only the hogs but not humans, which means that the matter is not a concern on public health but on animal health.
                        He called on the people not to panic because the meat of the infected animals can be eaten if washed and cooked thoroughly.
                        Santiago said that so far, it is only in the Lambino farm in the entire province of Pangasinan where the ebola virus was detected.
                        He explained that the quarantine is just a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the disease although he said that the virus is non-transmittable to humans or to other hogs.
                        Dr. Raymond Veloria, municipal health officer of Manaoag, who was among those who inspected the piggery farm, said based on the findings of the TDIP, most of the swine and piglets in the farm were infected by the virus.
                        Veloria reported that the farm has 14 sows, 11 boars, 53 growers, 70 weanlings, and 217 pigs for fattening.
                        The initial inventory showed there were 62 piglets that were found to have diarrhea, he said.
                        Veloria added that based on these findings, the Municipal Health Office, together with the Department of Health and the DA, recommended that the farm be quarantined for at least one to two months.
                        However, Veloria said that the people should not panic because ebola virus is non-pathogenic in humans and the infected piglets do not transmit diseases.
                        Saying that ebola virus came from monkeys and first afflicted Africans, like those from Kenya and Congo, Veloria believed an infected person or hog from those African countries may have carried the virus to the Philippines.
                        Veloria revealed that per documentation of the ebola virus, it was also detected in farms in Bulacan and Nueva Ecija. (PNA)
                        /scsLvm/lvmicua/rma

                        http://balita.ph/2008/12/11/pangasin...o-ebola-virus/

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                        • #13
                          Re: Phillipines - Hogs Found to Have Ebola Virus

                          Updated map

                          http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...5,5.603027&z=7

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                          • #14
                            Re: Phillipines - Hogs Found to Have Ebola Virus

                            Commentary

                            Ebola in Philippine Swine Raises Concerns
                            Recombinomics Commentary 14:14
                            December 12, 2008

                            As of Wednesday evening, Ebola Reston cases were confirmed in four farms in Luzon, the northern Philippines, after six out of 28 hogs tested positive for the virus.

                            Arthur Yap, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, allayed fears that the disease will be transferred to humans from infected hogs, Philippine TV network GMA News reported.

                            There has been no documented case on the virus being transmitted from hogs to humans, said the agriculture chief.

                            The above comments on Ebola transmission from pigs to humans brings up older stories associated with the swine outbreaks in Sichuan China.

                            In 2005 there were widespread deaths associated with swine outbreaks, which were considered to be atypical Porcine Productive Respiratory Syndrome (PPRS), even though PPRS had not been associated with fatal human infections.


                            However, at the time boxun reports suggested the infections were due to an Ebola strain (SZ77) recombinant, which was one of many Ebola strains circulating in China.

                            Of further note is an 18 nt region of identity between Ebola Zaire and H5N1.

                            Sequence data on the Ebola isolated from swine in the Philippines (see map) would be useful.


                            .
                            "The next major advancement in the health of American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself"-- John Knowles, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation

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                            • #15
                              Re: Phillipines - Hogs Found to Have Ebola Virus

                              from: http://www.recombinomics.com/News/07...uan_Ebola.html

                              An 18 nucleotide region of H5 is found in the Ebola env gene, signaling the exchange of genetic information between H5N1 and Ebola (the sequence is specific for H5N1 isolates). Variations in sequences between Ebola or Marburg strains has been noted and Ebola like other viruses can evolve rapidly via recombination.
                              That's amazing that different pathogens can recombine like that.

                              .
                              "The next major advancement in the health of American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself"-- John Knowles, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation

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