The host for the devastating African disease Ebola, which has no cure and kills quickly and painfully, has not yet been found. The host is an animal which carries the virus but is not itself affected by it, and if it could be found, diseased creatures could be eradicated, ending the plague. Scientists haven't yet found the host, but they have some potential candidates.
Shaoni Bhattacharya writes in New Scientist that researcher Townsend Peterson and his team are flying out to the Congo, where a new outbreak of Ebola is beginning, to continue the search. The latest outbreak has killed 11 people so far, and infected another 87. Another recent was in the same region and killed 128 of the 142 people infected.
The current outbreak began when one family fell ill after eating a dead wild boar they discovered in the forest during a hunting expedition. However, they also caught and ate a monkey the date before. "As we speak, it is a monkey that is a lot more incriminated," says Red Cross worker Andr
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