Human deforestation activities link bats to Ebola outbreaks

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Deforestation may accelerate the spread of the deadly Ebola disease in the rainforests of West and Central Africa by increasing human-bat interactions, a new study shows. Fruit bats (Pteropodidae) are suspected reservoir hosts for the Ebola virus (EBV), which is often fatal to humans and other primates. Named for their dietary preferences, several large fruit bat species proliferate in fragmented rainforests or in agroforestry settings, according to research led by scientists with Spain’s University of Malaga (UMA) and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

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