Philippines bans monkey exports over Ebola deaths

Manila suspends exports of the macaque monkey after an Ebola virus strain struck 20 of the animals, killing 11.

    Philippines bans monkey exports over Ebola deaths
    At least nine captive Philippine macaques are under going treatment according to government officials [AFP]

    The Philippines has suspended exports of the macaque monkey after an Ebola virus strain that is non-fatal to humans struck 20 of the animals, killing 11, officials have said.

    Eleven captive Philippine macaques have died after contracting the bat-borne Ebola Reston virus, while nine others are under treatment, Simeon Amurao, assistant director of the Bureau of Animal Industry, said on Thursday.

    "All exports are suspended while we investigate this incident," Amurao told the AFP news agency.

    The Philippines is among the world's major exporters of laboratory monkeys and has so far shipped close to 300 monkeys to Japan this year, and 600 last year, Amurao added.

    "This kind of Ebola is the least harmful in terms of human affectation.This is limited to monkeys," Health Secretary Janette Garin told reporters on Thursday.

    "The situation has been contained. The possible sources [of infection] have been traced."

    Garin said 62 workers in two monkey-breeding facilities all tested negative for infection in August following the deaths of 10 macaques that had exhibited Ebola symptoms.

    The 10 fatalities were traced to two other undisclosed breeding centres where another 10 tested positive for the virus, one of which died, she said.

    It was the first case of Ebola Reston among Philippine macaques since 1997, according to the agriculture department.

    In 2009, 6,000 pigs at a farm in Manila's northern suburbs were slaughtered after they tested positive for Ebola Reston.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Senegal's village of women

    Senegal's village of women

    Women in northeast Senegal are using solar-powered irrigation to farm food and halt the encroaching desert.

    Inside Baltimore's human trafficking industry

    Inside Baltimore's human trafficking industry

    Survivors of sex trafficking and those who investigate it in the city share their stories.

    A tale of two isolations

    A tale of two isolations

    More than 1,000km apart, a filmmaker and the subject of his film contend with the methods and meanings of solitude.