Philippines Bureau of Animal Industry officials announced today that macaque exports have been suspended after reports of 11 monkeys dying, with at least one of the dead monkeys confirmed positive for Ebola Reston Virus (ERV).

Macaque/Jack Merridew
Macaque/Jack Merridew

Last weekend, Department of Health (DOH) officials announced that monkeys in at least one facility tested positive for the virus, which is lethal to primates but not humans, and more than 2 dozen employees were screened for ERV. Not we know that more than 60 people have been tested.

Health Secretary Janette Garin said, “The good news is that all the human handlers and personnel exposed to the monkeys were negative for Ebola Reston.

“The situation has been contained. The possible sources (of infection) have been traced.”

“This kind of Ebola is the least harmful in terms of human affectation. This is limited to monkeys,” Health Secretary Janette Garin continued.

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, according to Simeon Amurao, assistant director of the Bureau of Animal Industry.

LISTEN to Sec Garin discuss the ERV situation

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and the Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch

Follow @bactiman63