Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ebola Virus Mutated From Forest Encroachment, Says Disease Specialist

The Ebola virus has proven deadly to both people and animals.

The epidemic that started in 2014 has so far taken the lives of over eight thousand people in West Africa. The virus also killed an estimated 5,500 gorillas in the Lossi Sanctuary of the Republic of Congo in 2003. But scientists say the Ebola virus has been around far longer than the latest news headlines.

Dr. Robert Cohen is a preventive medicine physician at the U-S Army Public Health Command in Aberdeen, Maryland. In his studies of the origins of the virus, he found that the infectious disease and its strains have been around for millions of years. Key to its survival is its ability to mutate and transfer from primates to humans even as environmental conditions change, and populations grow. 

So how does it spread?