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PRRS Reported in the Philippines

by 5m Editor
11 December 2008, at 12:28pm

THE PHILIPPINES - Veterinary authorities have sent a report to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) concerning Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS). Ebola virus was also confirmed in the samples tested.

The report from the Philippines was dated 10 December and is an 'immediate notification' of an outbreak of PRRS that started on 10 July and was first confirmed on 30 October.

An unexpected increase in morbidity or mortality was observed, and PRRS has since been confirmed. The source of the outbreak(s) is unknown but the most likely source is thought to be the introduction of new live animals.

Epidemiological comments In the district of Sto Nino (Pandi municipality, Bulacan province), the mortality was mostly observed in piglets. In the district of Pinagpanaan (Talavera municipality, Nueva Ecija province), all animals were downers with clinical signs suggestive of PRRS/Classical swine fever/Porcine circovirus type 2.

The Philippines has experienced a sudden increase in mortalities in pigs in the latter part of the second quarter of 2007 until the first quarter of 2008. The clinical signs exhibited by the diseased animals indicated atypical infection, which can be attributed to more than one pathogen.

Samples from the outbreaks were sent to the USDA Plum Island laboratory. Results show that samples were positive for porcine circovirus type 2 and atypical PRRS virus, which is 98% homologous to the atypical PRRS virus isolated in China and Vietnam. With high morbidity and mortality observed similar to China and Vietnam, it was concluded that these outbreaks were most likely caused by atypical PRRS virus.

Ebola Virus Also Isolated

The USDA Plum Island laboratory also reported to have isolated Reston Ebola virus from swine samples. Although considered of negligible public health importance, as indicated in the literatures and by the previous incident in the Philippines in a monkey farm in early 1990s with no human cases in spite of close contact with the monkeys, as a precautionary measure the BAI-DA (Bureau of Animal Industry – Department of Agriculture) and the DOH (Department of Health) immediately organised a team to investigate the affected areas.

Samples were collected from people and animals in the affected areas. Serum samples from animal caretakers and other people exposed to the animals were collected and tested at the DOH-RITM (Department of Health - Research Institute for Tropical Medicine), and all indicated negative results to Ebola-Reston antibodies. Results from animals are still pending the arrival of kits for swine testing from CDC Atlanta (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), which have committed to send in the Philippines.

All animals in the affected areas have been put under strict quarantine.

The BAI-DA and DOH team will continue to conduct epidemiological investigation.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) by clicking here.

5m Editor