Wednesday, March 12, 2003

EBOLA DEATH TOLL RISES

Ebola kills 100 in Congo, wipes out gorillas

BRAZZAVILLE, Congo Republic - The deadly Ebola virus has killed 100 people in the remote forests of Congo Republic and wiped out nearly two-thirds of the gorillas in a reserve....

Scientists believe this outbreak was triggered by the consumption of infected monkey meat. Bush meat is a staple among remote forest communities and deemed a delicacy in many cities.

Monkeys, chimpanzees, and gorillas started dying in large numbers towards the end of last year, and primatologists say the impact has been devastating on the Lossi park in Cuvette-Ouest....

Despite scientists' efforts to change villagers' eating habits and burial rites, which can involve handling the internal organs of corpses, many believe occult forces are at work. Four teachers accused of casting a spell to cause the latest Ebola outbreak were stoned and beaten to death in February.