Ebola Reston Virus found in monkeys can be transmitted to humans but resulting no illness, assured Department of Health.
Saturday, Department of Health and Bureau of Animal Industry confirmed Ebola Reston virus found among monkeys captives in unnamed Philippine facility, 5 September 2015. Agency assured such virus though may infect human, however it is harmless. Ebola virus has caused the majority of human deaths from EVD, infected with such virus in the country is the latest since December 2008 where pigs found positive at hug farm in Bulacan Province.
With hundreds of monkeys in the facility tested, some of them resulted to be positive with Ebola Reston virus. This incident creates fear and panic to some Filipinos that virus might infect humans. Health Secretary Janette P. Loreto Garin assured public that the virus infected monkeys is different from deadly Ebola Virus Disease, which mostly affected in Africa, infected thousands of people and even worst killed them.
“We call on the public not to panic as wrong information may lead to more harm than help in the community. Vigilance is still needed. Let us be pre-cautious, and adhere to the reminders given by the DOH. This is not something new and was present in the Philippines before. Allow us to emphasize that the present situation is limited to monkeys” the virus can be transmitted by the monkeys to humans “without resulting in illness.” The threat posed to healthy adults ranges from “low to none”, Janette P. Loreto Garin said.
Although Ebola Reston virus found harmless to humans, DOH will still continue monitoring health status of the staff employed in the said facility providing with personal protective equipment. The blood samples of some employees been collected and sent to Research Institute for Tropical Medicine for antibodies testing, using Eliza or Enzyme Immunosoorbent Assay. Bureau of Animal Industry Director Rubina Cresencio stated: “The immediate action now is to quarantine the area, to prevent movement while we study the cause of the virus on the monkeys.”
Ebola-Reston virus, discovered in 1989 as the cause of an outbreak of severe illness and death among non-human primates. Monkeys imported from Mindanao Island in the Philippines with Ebola virus to a quarantine facility in Reston, Virginia, based on the information gathered by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention based in Atlanta, Georgia and that monkeys was used to test cosmetics and drugs. It was later confirmed, one monkey infected among a group of hundred and two of them tested positive when shipped to Hazleton in Alice, Texas. Although found positive, it was not infectious to humans and no human illnesses were reported. IMAGE/AP