More hog farms watched for ebola virus
By Joel Guinto
First Posted 14:16:00 02/24/2009
CLARK FIELD, Pampanga – The government will expand its monitoring of hog farms for ebola reston infection after 19 pigs from a farm in Pandi town, Bulacan province tested positive for the virus, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said Tuesday.
Aside from Bulacan, the surveillance will also include other provinces in Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, and Pangasinan province in northern Luzon, Duque told reporters before the start of a Cabinet meeting here.
The farm with the infected hogs have been quarantined, Duque said, adding that as much as 6,000 hogs there could be killed if the entire farm were to be “depopulated.”
He said 6,000 hogs represented 0.05 percent of the total hog population of 13 million.
“Naka quarantine yung lugar, coming from those meat farms, bawal ang exit at entry dun sa quarantine area [The area has been quarantined, coming from those meat farms, exit and entry are prohibited],” Duque said.
“We will expand surveillance in neighboring farms in Bulacan, we will also include Region 3 [Central Luzon] Region 4 [Southern Luzon], and Pangasinan in Region 1 [Northern Luzon],” he said.
While there is no proof yet that humans can get sick from eating meat infected with ebola reston, Duque nonetheless advised the public to cook pork meat well.
“Stay away from kilawin, and half-cooked pork,” he said.
He said a team of experts commissioned by the government has yet to determine the cause of the virus, which according to initial reports could have come from bats.
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