Tuesday, August 01, 2006

GORILLAS - Ebola Virus Research

Science Daily had a report last month on research into an virus outbreak among gorillas in the rain forest of the Republic of the Congo.
...researchers have found that in a few months the virus exhibited dramatic--but disproportionate--impacts on group-dwelling and solitary gorillas. The findings offer a unique glimpse into the factors affecting the threat the deadly virus poses to great apes.
In the new work, the researchers studied the spread of Ebola virus in a gorilla population of Odzala-Kokoua National Park, Republic of the Congo. Social units--defined as groups and solitary males--composing this population regularly visited a forest clearing where they were studied from 2001. In all, around 400 gorillas were identified from their individual morphological characteristics. Ebola virus affected this population in 2004.
The frightening consequences of the ebola virus getting into the much smaller population of Mountain Gorillas is only too easy to imagine. Full story at The Science Daily.

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