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Filipinos And The Ebola Reston Virus In Pigs

January 30, 2009

wsj-reports-on-ebola-reston-in-humans-from-rp-pigs

It is two months ago that the Philippines disclosed an outbreak of the potentially deadly Ebola Reston Virus (EBR) in two piggeries in Luzon.

While the Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture both said there was nothing to worry about, the Philippines’first first ever export of live hogs to Singapore was cancelled.

Now after international health experts examined pig samples from the quarantined farms there’s news that antibodies for the Ebola Reston Virus had been found in a total of five farm workers in Bulacan.

Still we are being told there’s no cause for alarm as none of the workers had fallen ill even as their cases marked the first time EBR in swine had been transmitted to humans.

As a standard precaution people are being told to make sure any pork meat they eat is well cooked.

The National Meat Inspection Institute certifies all meat products sold in public markets. The inspections, however, are not fool-proof.

Almost every day, ‘hot or double-dead meat’ find there way to community flea markets (talipapa) with unscrupulous traders retailing the slaughtered carcasses of pigs that died from unknown causes.

The tragic lessons learned from the Zaire EBR outbreak which initially came from, and killed, monkeys and humans must not be ignored.

Given the new findings about EBR crossing over to humans, the danger of the EBR nutating into the deadly strain that killed hundreds in Zaire just cannot be waved away by Philippine authorities.

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