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Ebola Die-Off: Gorilla losses tallied in central Africa

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12:54pm, December 6, 2006

Between 2001 and 2005, Ebola virus ravaged the gorilla population in a remote section of equatorial Africa. A new analysis suggests that this outbreak, which killed 254 people, also claimed more than 5,500 western-lowland gorillas.

Genetic characteristics of the virus that emerged in the Republic of the Congo—the smaller of the two nations called Congo—indicate that it arose from an earlier outbreak that killed people in adjacent Gabon, says Peter D. Walsh of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. However, the carrier of the Ebola virus is unknown.

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