EBOLA KILLING THOUSANDS OF PRIMATES

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EBOLA KILLING THOUSANDS OF PRIMATES

 user 2006-12-12 at 2:32:00 pm Views: 59
  • #17134

    Ebola ‘kills over 5,000 gorillas’
    More than 5,000 gorillas may have died in recent outbreaks of the Ebola virus in central Africa, a study says.
    Scientists
    warn that, coupled with the commercial hunting of gorillas, it may be
    enough to push them to extinction.The study, published in the US
    journal Science, looked at gorilla colonies in Republic of Congo and
    Gabon. Ebola is also blamed for many chimpanzee deaths.One of the most
    virulent viruses known, Ebola has killed more than 1,000 people since
    it was first recorded in 1976.Ebola causes viral haemorrhagic fever -
    massive internal and external bleeding – which can kill up to 90% of
    those infected.Scientists are still working on a vaccine and there is
    no known cure.Ape-to-ape transmissionThe latest study, carried out by
    an international team, has confirmed previous concerns about how badly
    the virus is affecting gorillas.
       
    EBOLA
    One of the most virulent viral diseases
    Damages blood vessels and can cause extensive bleeding, diarrhoea and shock
    Killed more than 240 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1995
    Transmitted by infected body fluids
    Kills up to 90% of victims, depending on the strain

    There is no cure
    “Add
    commercial hunting to the mix, and we have a recipe for rapid
    ecological extinction,” the report says.”Ape species that were abundant
    and widely distributed a decade ago are rapidly being reduced to
    remnant populations.”The researchers, led by Magdalena Bermejo of the
    University of Barcelona, focused on western gorillas, one of two
    gorilla species. The other is the eastern gorilla.In 2002 and 2003,
    several outbreaks of Ebola flared up in human populations in Gabon and
    Congo.The researchers found a “massive die-off” in gorillas in Congo’s
    Lossi Sanctuary between 2002 and 2004.”The Lossi outbreak killed about
    as many gorillas as survive in the entire eastern gorilla species,” the
    study says.The researchers concluded that the apes were not only
    infected by other species, such as fruit bats, but were also
    transmitting the virus among themselves.Ebola was passing from group to
    group of the endangered animals, they found, and appeared to be
    spreading faster than in humans.Outbreaks of the disease in humans have
    sometimes been traced to the bushmeat trade.According to World Health
    Organization figures, Ebola killed 1,200 people between the first
    recorded human outbreak in 1976 and 2004.