Philippines Moves to Fight Pig Ebola
Dec. 19, 2008
But health officials say it is too early to rule out a possible threat to humans, and expressed concern over the fact that this incident, first revealed in an Oct. 30 teleconference between the Philippine government and U.S. health authorities, wasn't made public until a news conference for local media in Manila last week. (Read the rest in Wall St. Journal.)
(Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap)
What a coincidence, but shortly after reading this, I received a phone call from a leader in the local hog industry who was calling about a totally unrelated matter, but after peppering him w/ questions about the issue, admitted that they tried to dissuade Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap from publicly announcing the Ebola Reston virus outbreak.
If not for the insistence of the World Health Organization, OIE, and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the DA officials would've kept quiet on the issue, leaving the public in the dark about possible risks to our health. Salamat Arthur Yap, ang galing mo talaga.
UPDATE (Dec. 20, 2008,11:58 AM): I've just been told that a similar WHO story was supposed to have been published in a major broadsheet today but was killed, not just by the editors, but by the WHO officials themselves. The WHO officials were supposedly afraid to offend the presidentita. Tsk, tsk...when even a global org such as WHO turns on its tail on a vital issue such as this, and gets caught up in the politics of a country it's in, then it is useless. Afraid to offend Malacañang but not afraid to risk the health of Pinoys, ey? Tsk, tsk.