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SCI/TECH: Ebola Virus Outbreak Threatens Great Apes

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posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 11:20 PM
Another possible outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Africa may threaten not only the human populations in the area but also the endangered Great Apes that live there. With the populations of chimpanzees and gorillas dwindling, the disease could have a devastating effect on the survival of the species.

Science Daily
Scientists fear that emerging evidence may suggest a new outbreak of the Ebola virus, which, in addition to threatening human lives, would threaten tens of thousands of great apes in this case gorillas and chimpanzees in the Republic of Congo. The announcement was made by the International Primatological Society (IPS) and Great Ape Survival Project (GRASP) at the IPS's 20th Congress, being held this week in Turin, Italy.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Ebola is a mysterious virus that appears periodically in Africa and causes an often-fatal hemorrhagic fever in humans, gorillas, and other primates. The mortality rate can be 80% or higher. Outbreaks among gorillas and chimpanzees have been observed in 2002 & 2003 with the results indicating the deaths of possibly thousands of animals.

Since no effective cure or vaccine for the Ebola virus exists the only tactics that might stem an outbreak remain isolation of infected populations and the education of those people who might be affected so they might avoid exposure to infection.

Related News Links
Ebola Virus A Threat To Great Ape Populations
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Related ATS Discussions
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posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 11:32 PM
Ah geez. That's depressing news. The populations were already failing from social pressures and wars. This may be enough to tip them into extinction in that area.

It'll be a sad day when the only ones left alive are caged in zoos and parks.

posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 04:18 AM
Yeah, I agree. What a bummer.

It's a shame the great apes are endangered. They're such incredible creatures. Personally I have a fondness for the gorilla. They're so fascinating and peaceful. If not for humans taking their land and poaching they might have stood a chance. Since their population has dwindled so much, though, an outbreak of ebola might be all it takes to finish them off.

Maybe it's strange, but my first reaction is to feel sympathy for the apes, and not for the people who will also suffer and die from an outbreak. But, that's how it is.

What a sad, sad day ...

posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 04:45 AM
The Ebola virus killing the Great Apes is in all probablity different to the type which kills humans ( Ebola Zaire ). So it is unlikely many people ill die from this type of Ebola.

posted on Aug, 31 2004 @ 06:15 PM
The Ebola virus is the last thing that the great apes of Africa need to worry about. The native human inhabitants of those regions are killing the apes far faster than ANY virus. Screw the Iraqis... we need to liberate the gorillas. At least the gorillas are peaceful.

posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 02:07 PM
Some suspect that the apes may have been exposed to the virus by contact with infected humans, not unlikely since all of the varieties of Ebola are capable of infecting primates. Humans have also contracted Ebola by handling dead apes or eating their flesh. Of the four Ebola strains, only one does not appear to cause disease in humans (Ebola-Reston).
It may seem insensitive of me, but I am much more concerned ot the affect of the disease on the Great Ape population than the human population. The human have the advantage of medicine and education to help retard the spread of the disease.

As fortunate1 stated, the last thing they need is more stress pushing them toward extinction in addition to the poaching and habitat destruction.

Science Now has another good article.

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