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Philippines Moves to Fight Pig Ebola


Philippines Moves to Fight Pig Ebola
By JONATHAN CHENG
SOURCES
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122962795234719065.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebola

--this fall a strain of Ebola has been found in pigs from the Philippines that was previously only found in monkeys
--strain: the Reston strain
--this strain has caused no dz or death in humans--yet
--species jumping in a virus is a bad sign-->increasing danger to humans
--this incident first revealed to US authorities 10/30/08
--made public by reluctant Philippine govt last week, on 12/10
--they're killing pigs in Manila to allay public fears about the spread of the virus
--viruses from other species "remix" in pigs to sometimes infect humans
--"...pigs are much closer to humans than monkeys in their ability to harbour viruses"-Peter Cordingley, Western Pacific spokesman for the World Health Organization in Manila
--Philippino plans to begin exporting pork to Singapore have been canceled
--pig farmers in the Philippines were noticing sick/dying pigs in May this year
--samples of dead pigs from August were tested in NY and they found several dzs incl: porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome aka blue-ear pig disease (real bad sick pigs), and 6/28 pigs had Ebola Reston virus
--Contact for article: Jonathan Cheng at jonathan.cheng@wsj.com

EBOLA
--five distinct strains: Zaïre ebolavirus, Sudan ebolavirus, Reston ebolavirus, Tai (Ivory Coast) ebolavirus, Bundibugyo ebolavirus
--three of the five assoc w/ high-fatality outbreaks first seen in the Congo in 1976 (Zaire? Sudan? Near Ebola River?)
--1989 Reston strain discovered in green monkeys imported from Philippines, kept for research in Reston, Va.
--a handful of humans were infected in that case (what case?), but only one person showed any symptoms, and fully recovered (this statement not explained in article, the case to which it refers could only be the import of the Reston strain Green monkeys to Virginia, but the wording is unclear)
--WHO sez Ebola Reston virus only id'd via lab tests
--if you eat pork even from healthy pigs, cook meat thoroughly
--TRANSmission: FAO sez Ebola Reston virus is transmitted by air
--TRANSmission: African strains transmitted via direct contact w/ body fluids incl blood
--Ebola causes hemorrhagic fever
--viruses have long filaments & shape similar to Marburg virus (close relative found in bats)

--Ebola and Marburg both in the family Filoviridae, manifest similar Sx
--PROGnosis: awful: Zaire strain has the highest fatality rate of any human pathogenic virus, approx 90%
--Sudan strain fatality rate: 50%
--potential for widespread epidemic considered low dt high fatality rate and rapidity: it runs out of hosts
--currently devastating pops of Western Lowland Gorillas in Central Africa
--2005: three species of fruit bat identified as carrying the virus without showing Sx, mb reservoir
--SX: fever, vomiting, diarrhea, generalized pain or malaise, and sometimes internal/external bleeding
--cause of death usu: hypovolemic shock or organ failure
--no approved vaccine or treatment available
--classified as a biosafety level 4 agent AND Category A bioterrorism agent by CDC (could be "weaponized")

OTHER VIRUS NEWS
--this year's influenza A (H1N1) is proving to be resistant to tamilflu
--so sorry if you got the shot thinking you'd be protected
--http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2008/12/19/UPI_NewsTrack_Health_and_Science_News/UPI-91491229727230/

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