Epidemiology of Ebola (subtype Reston) virus in the Philippines, 1996

J Infect Dis. 1999 Feb;179 Suppl 1:S115-9. doi: 10.1086/514314.


Ebola (subtype Reston [EBO-R]) virus infection was detected in macaques imported into the United States from the Philippines in March 1996. Studies were initiated in the Philippines to identify the source of the virus among monkey-breeding and export facilities, to establish surveillance and testing, and to assess the risk and significance of EBO-R infections in humans who work in these facilities. Over a 5-month period, acutely infected animals were found at only one facility, as determined using Ebola antigen detection. Three of 1732 monkeys and 1 of 246 animal handlers tested had detectable antibodies; all were from the same facility, which was the source of infected monkeys imported to the United States. Virus transmission, which was facilitated by poor infection-control practices, continued for several months in one facility and was stopped only when the facility was depopulated. None of the 246 employees of the facilities or 4 contacts of previously antibody-positive individuals reported an Ebola-like illness. This investigation suggests that human EBO-R infection is rare.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Laboratory / virology
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Ebolavirus / classification*
  • Ebolavirus / immunology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / veterinary*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / virology
  • Humans
  • Macaca fascicularis / virology*
  • Medical Laboratory Personnel
  • Monkey Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Monkey Diseases / mortality
  • Monkey Diseases / virology
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Philippines / epidemiology


  • Antibodies, Viral