ROME (AFP) — The Ebola-Reston virus has been detected in pigs for the first time in the world, in the Philippines, the UN food agency said Tuesday.
Examinations of samples taken from sick pigs earlier this year confirmed that they were infected with the Ebola-Reston virus, the Food and Agriculture Organisation said in a statement.
The pigs also carried a "highly virulent strain" of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), the Rome-based agency said.
"Although co-infection in pigs is not unusual, this is the first time globally that an Ebola-Reston virus has been isolated in swine," the statement said, adding that it was found in monkeys in the Philippines in the 1990s.
Ebola-Reston is one of the five species of the virus, FAO said, noting that it can infect humans but without causing serious illness or death, unlike the Zaire, Bundibugyo and Sudan strains.
Experts from the FAO, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the World Health Organisation will travel to the country to help local experts determine the source of the virus and how it spread, the statement said.
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