Bush meat” is any kind of meat that poachers bring out of “the bush,” forest and brushlands of Africa, especially central Africa.

The Ebola virus causes Ebola hemorrhagic fever. It is one of the most frightening of all epidemics because of its symptoms, high mortality (30 to 90 %) , and current expansion that is breaking out of control. Ebola continues to spread through central African counties, and the total known mortality now exceeds a thousand.


Ebola seems to begin when hunters kill infected animals and eat the meat poorly cooked or even merely touch the meat as they bring it to market and/or prepare it.  The droppings of infected animals on edible vegetation are also a source of infection. The animals most pointed to as carriers of Ebola virus are the various species of fruit bats.

 These often large bats are frequently dried and then eaten directly or made into soup. The fruit bats are reservoirs of the virus, but not harmed by it. Other animals harbor the virus too. Some are sickened and killed by it such as the great apes and pigs, but they infect other apes and humans. Other animals too are probably reservoirs.
Once a person has contacted the disease, the virus readily spreads without further spillover from infected animals. The profuse bleeding and expulsion of other bodily fluids from infected people, often spreads the infection to a large number of those who touch the patients, their clothing, or fluids. So, caregivers, family members or other intimates are at great risk. Adding to this way of spreading Ebola are rituals involving the washing and other touching of the dead.

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