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Posted Fri Aug 15 2008: from The Nation (Nairobi) via AllAfrica:
Africa: Unable to Put Beef And Fish On the Table, Continent Courts Animal-Spread Diseases
Last year's outbreaks of the deadly Marburg and Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever viruses in southwestern Uganda and in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo's province of Kasai Occidental and the sporadic outbreaks of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) across the continent once again bring to light the threat zoonotic diseases pose to sub-Saharan Africa in particular and the world generally.... Along with population increase comes the need for more arable and grazing land and the exploration of new forest, swamp and cave habitats. This raises the likelihood of exposure to 'new' infectious agents in those environments, and could result in the emergence of new disease pathogens. As population grows there is also an increase in the demand for food. In sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere, people are more and more turning to wild animals for food. This high demand for bush meat in the countries of the Congo Basin is helping to fuel the increase in outbreaks of such illnesses as Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever.
[Read more stories about: unintended consequences, food crisis, hunting to extinction]

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