World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


UN Helping Philippines Tackle Ebola Outbreak

UN Helping Philippines Tackle First-Ever Ebola Outbreak In Pigs

New York, Dec 23 2008 12:10PM

The Philippine Government has asked the United Nations for help in tackling what appears to be the first global outbreak of the deadly Ebola-Reston virus in pigs, which has attacked hog farms in the South-East Asian nation.

Philippine officials have asked two UN agencies – the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) – as well as the World Organization for Human Health (OIE) to send an expert mission to investigate the outbreak, FAO announced today.

“Since being informed of this event in late November, FAO, OIE and WHO have been making every effort to gain a better understanding of the situation and are working closely with the Philippine Government and local animal and human health experts,” FAO said in a news release.

The experts are conducting field and laboratory tests to find the source of the virus, its transmission, natural habitat and virulence in order to appropriately guide animal and human health protection, according to FAO.

Lab reports in late October confirmed that pigs on hog farms in the Nueva Ecija and Bulacan provinces of the Central Luzon region were infected with the Ebola-Reston virus, as well as a highly virulent strain of Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS). The tests began in early 2007 when pigs on those farms began dying at a faster rate than usual.

PRSS can not be transmitted to humans. The Reston strain of the Ebola virus can infect humans, but no deaths or serious illnesses have been reported to date. Still, officials are taking precautions. Animal handlers and slaughterhouse workers who were possibly exposed to the infected pigs have tested negative for the Ebola-Reston virus and additional tests are underway.

The Philippine Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Industry notified the OIE that all infected animals were destroyed, their remains buried or burned. Healthy pigs in Bucalan are being vaccinated against PRRS. And infected premises have been disinfected and placed under strict quarantine and movement control.

Outbreaks of the Ebola-Reston virus in the Philippines first occurred in monkeys during 1989 and 1990, followed by outbreaks in 1992 and 1996.

FAO and WHO have advised people to follow good hygiene practices and food-handling measures until experts better understand the disease and how it was transmitted to pigs. Pork from healthy swine is safe to eat as long as it is cooked properly or has met national safety standards during production, processing and distribution.

The Philippine Department of Agriculture has advised the Philippine public to buy meat only from sources certified by the National Meat Inspection Service.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Save The Children: World Leaders Urged To Halt Escalating Hunger Crisis

A group of 120 non-governmental organisations has joined forces in an open letter calling on world leaders to do more to halt a devastating global hunger crisis as new analysis shows the number of people likely to be in need of humanitarian aid in 2022 could rise by 17%...More>>

WMO: Another La Niña Impacts Temperatures And Precipitation – But Not Climate Change
La Niña has developed for the second consecutive year and is expected to last into early 2022, influencing temperatures and precipitation. Despite the cooling influence of this naturally occurring climate phenomenon, temperatures in many parts of the world are expected to be above average because of the accumulated heat trapped in the atmosphere...

UN: Violations Of Palestinian Rights Puts Two-State Solution At Risk, Chief Warns
The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continues to pose a significant challenge to international peace and security, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, said on Monday... More>>

World Food Programme: Millions More In Need Of Food Assistance As A Direct Result Of Conflict In Northern Ethiopia

The number of people in need of humanitarian food assistance across northern Ethiopia has grown to an estimated 9.4 million as a direct result of ongoing conflict, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today... More>>

Food: Three Billion People Cannot Afford A Healthy Diet

Approximately three billion people, almost 40 per cent of the world’s population, cannot afford a healthy diet and another one billion people would join their ranks should further unpredictable events reduce incomes by one-third, the UN food agency said, launching a new report on Tuesday... More>>

COP26: Enough Of ‘Treating Nature Like A Toilet’ – Guterres Brings Stark Call For Climate Action To Glasgow
As the World Leaders Summit opened on day two of COP26, UN chief António Guterres sent a stark message to the international community. “We are digging our own graves”, he said, referring to the addiction to fossil fuels which threatens to push humanity and the planet, to the brink, through unsustainable global heating... More>>

  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC