Thursday, July 10, 2014

Is the ebola outbreak caused by deforestation?

are we making ebola worse by cutting down the forests?

I have no idea, except to note that there was a lot of deforestation when they cut the forest to start plantations.

and it's unclear if the deforestation is to replant other crops, illegal logging for export, or if it's poor people who cut down/burn down forests to plant (and then move on after five years when the soil is degraded by their crops).

 Villages here are surrounded by forest and agriculture, and that means bats—thought to carry Ebola—are everywhere. "I lived in a house in a village in Kissidougou district for two years which was full of bats in its roof," she says.
Human activity is driving bats to find new habitats amongst human populations. More than half of Liberia's forests—home to 40 endangered species, including the western chimpanzee—have been sold off to industrial loggers during President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's post-war government, according to figures released by Global Witness. Logging, slash-and-burn agriculture, and chopping down trees for an increased demand for fire wood are all driving deforestation in Sierra Leone, where total forest cover has now dropped to just 4 percent, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) which says if deforestation continues at current levels, Sierra Leone's forests could disappear altogether by 2018.

but then they mix up the human version of ebola with the Ebola Reston, which does not affect humans (or if humans get infected, they don't get very sick).

Ebola in the United States?In 1989, Ebola was detected in monkeys imported from the Philippines at quarantine facilities in Virginia and Pennsylvania, with no human patients. The following year, the same thing happened again in Virginia and Texas. Four humans developed antibodies, but did not get sick. And then again in 1996 in Texas, monkeys from the Philippines were found to have Ebola, but yet again there were no human infections.
NYTimes article on that version which infected some pigs and humans near us. LINK

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