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Ebola blood samples sent to US for testing

Philippine blood samples from swine and farmhands have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States to test for the Ebola-Reston virus, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said Friday.

A joint team from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO) collected the samples from two pig farms where the Ebola-Reston virus had been detected.

"I have directed the RITM (Research Institute of Tropical Medicine of the Philippines) to immediately send the collected samples from the two farms to CDC for testing," Duque said. This move was taken because the Philippines does not have the facilities to conduct such tests and is not an indication that the samples are positive for the Ebola-Reston virus.

The Agriculture Department is still maintaining its quarantine on the two farms as well as the voluntary ban on the export of pork until the results of the CDC tests are released, officials said.

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