Ebola virus also found in Manaoag hog farm


DOH: No reason to panic

MANAOAG —The Department of Agriculture (DA) has confirmed that the dreaded ebola virus, blamed for human deaths in Africa some years ago, was found among hogs in a piggery farm in Barangay Parian here.

DA Regional Director Cipriano Santiago, however, clarified that the virus that has infected numerous swine in the 30-hectare Lambino Farm, Ebola Reston virus, presented a low health risk for humans and was different from the deadly African variety.

The virus found in the hogs was determined to be non-pathogenic to humans nor can it be transmitted from one pig to another.

An inventory of the infected hogs in the area is currently being carried out by personnel from the DA office, the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), and the Department of Health (DOH), through the Municipal Health Office.

The Lambino Farm was the fourth farm where hogs have been confirmed by the BAI to have been infected with the Ebola Reston virus.

Santiago said there were two other piggery farms affected in Bulacan and another in Nueva Ecija, all of which have been quarantined to prevent the spread of the virus.

Santiago, along with officials of BAI and DOH regional officers, rushed to Manaoag Thursday morning upon hearing of the report in the two provinces to inspect the farm and impose the quarantine regulation.

“If a piggery farm is quarantined, it means that no hog would be allowed to be brought out to be sold to the market nor are we allowing new stocks to come in,” said Santiago who ordered an inventory of the hogs being raised in the farm.

He said a checkpoint manned by BAI personnel would be set up to make sure that the piggery farm will comply with the regulations.

Dr. Raymond Veloria, municipal health officer of Manaoag, said initial inventory showed the piggery farm has 14 sows, 11 boars, 53 growers, 70, weanlings and 217 piglets for fattening.

Of these, 62 piglets examined by the Tropical Disease Institute of the Philippines (TDPI) of the DOH were found to have been downed by diarrhea or loose bowel movement.

Veloria said the quarantine may last from one to two months but Santiago assured that the restrictions will be lifted soon after all the hogs in the farm test negative of the ebola virus. —LM(SundayPunch)


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