The nexus between forest fragmentation in Africa and Ebola virus disease outbreaks

by Maria Cristina Rulli, Monia Santini, David T. S. Hayman et al.
Nature Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 41613 – Published online: 14 February 2017

8 pp. 1.1 MB

Tropical forests are undergoing land use change in many regions of the world, including the African continent. Human populations living close to forest margins fragmented and disturbed by deforestation may be particularly exposed to zoonotic infections because of the higher likelihood for humans to be in contact with disease reservoirs. Quantitative analysis of the nexus between deforestation and the emergence of Ebola virus disease (EVD), however, is still missing. The authors show how in the EVD outbreaks the index cases in humans (i.e. spillover from wildlife reservoirs) occurred mostly in hotspots of forest fragmentation.

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