World organisations travel to the Philippines to investigate the recent outbreak of Ebola Reston virus in pigs.
At the invitation of the Government of the Philippines, experts from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have arrived in Manila to participate in a joint mission to further investigate the Ebola Reston virus identified last October in pigs from two farms in the Philippines.
The fact that this is the first time that the virus has been found outside monkeys, and the first time ever, worldwide, that it has been found in swine, a food-producing animal, makes this mission particularly important – especially considering the potential implications for animal and human health and welfare. Since learning about the existence of Ebola Reston in pigs in the Philippines, FAO, OIE and WHO have been fully committed to provide technical assistance to the Government of Philippines.
The mission started on January 6 and will last 10 days. During this period, the joint FAO/OIE/WHO team will work with Philippines counterparts to address, through field and laboratory investigation, important questions as to the source of the virus, its transmission, its virulence and its natural habitat, in order to provide appropriate guidance for animal and human health protection. In the meantime, pork has been declared safe for consumption.