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Over 200 hogs die of cholera outbreak in S Philippines
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21:31, February 09, 2009

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An outbreak of cholera killed at least 240 hogs in the southern Philippine province of North Cotabato, a health official said on Monday.

The outbreak was detected in the remote villages near the Malitubog River in the townships of Alamada, Aleosan, and Midsayap, according to Dr. Enrico Garzon, a local veterinary officer.

Garzon said hog traders and raisers in the region have been informed of what they would do to counter the disease.

"We suspect contaminated water caused the outbreak," Garzon said.

Hog cholera is a contagious disease transmitted through direct contact between healthy swine and infected swine.

Local officials warned people against eating meat from infected animals, as antibiotics used to cure them could be harmful to human beings.

The cholera broke out months after health officials found a strain of Ebola virus among hogs at some northern farms in the country. It was the first time in the world that the Ebola virus was found on the swine, a food-producing animal category.

Last month, the Philippine health authorities also reported that three pig farm workers and a slaughterhouse worker have been found infected with the Ebola-Reston virus.

Ebola-Reston, unlike its African counterparts which are proven deadly to humans, was first found on monkeys shipped from the Philippines to Reston, Virginia, the United States in 1989.


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