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Haliborange Ebola facts - DANGEROUS BUSH MEAT CULTURE

Published:Wednesday | November 5, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Health experts are concerned that the bush meat culture in West Africa is fuelling the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

Despite the ban because of the recent outbreak, people continue to sell and eat bush meat.

'Bush meat' refers to meat that comes from wild animals captured in the jungle, including monkeys, gorillas, chimpanzees, bush rats and fruit bats. These animals are said to be the main carriers of various diseases, including the HIV strain and Ebola.

Bush meat is often smoked, dried, or salted and considered a treat to some, and a main food source to others. In Guinea, bat soup is a delicacy.

Ebola is not generally spread through food, but the hunting, butchering, and processing of bush meat brings people in contact with blood and other fluids of a potentially infected animal.

Ebola infections in people have been associated with handling and eating infected animals, and the World Health Organization suggested that the 2014 outbreak can be traced to fruit bats in West Africa.