Veterinary Public Health Consultants, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Muntinlupa City, Philippines.
The 2008 Reston ebolavirus infection event in domestic pigs has triggered continuing epidemiologic investigations among Philippine health and veterinary agencies in collaboration with international filovirus experts. Prior to this, there were only 3 known and documented Reston ebolavirus outbreaks in nonhuman primates in the world, all traced back to a single geographic source in the Philippines in a monkey breeding/export facility. The first one in 1989 was the first-ever Ebola virus that emerged outside of Africa and was also the first known natural infection of Ebola virus in nonhuman primates. When it was first discovered among laboratory monkeys in the United States, the source was immediately traced back to the farm located in the Philippines. The second outbreak was in 1992-93. The third episode in 1996 was the last known outbreak before Reston ebolavirus reemerged in pigs in 2008. The isolated outbreaks involving 2 animal species bring forth issues requiring further investigations, and highlight the significance of intersectoral collaboration to effectively address zoonoses prevention and control/response in the interest of minimizing public health risk.