Home » News » Deforestation is a factor in Ebola outbreaks

Deforestation is a factor in Ebola outbreaks

As the deadliest-ever Ebola outbreak continues its spread in West Africa, evidence suggests that human impact on the environment may have played a role in the latest epidemic. Researchers say that logging, road construction and even global warming may have precipitated the crisis by bringing animals infected with the disease in closer contact with humans.

14th October 2014

Experts have highlighted the link between deforestation and the spread of Ebola. “Expansion of human impact can really trigger outbreaks,” Jonathan Epstein, a veterinary epidemiologist at EcoHealth Alliance, told al Jazeera. “Deforestation, building roads, expanding farms into areas that used to be dense forest – all those things increase the opportunity for wild animals [carrying the virus] to get into contact with livestock and humans.”

Ebola enters humans through close contact with infected animals. In 2012 a study in the Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research showed how extensive deforestation was bringing humans into contact with animals carrying the virus. Bats are considered the most likely culprits in the present outbreak, but infection has also been documented through the handling of chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, forest antelopes and other mammals.

Source: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/8/4/ebola-deforestationclimatechange.html


Mongabay.com: Destroyed habitats, fewer resources, Ebola: the many repercussions of Liberia's deforestation http://news.mongabay.com/2014/1029-gfrn-brown-liberia-deforestation-linked-to-ebola.html?n3ws1ttr

We are “in a perfect storm for viral emergence.”



13th October, 2014 - Ebola crisis: 'huge disruption' expected at Heatrow as screening begins http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/ebola/11160038/Ebola-crisis-huge-disruption-expected-at-Heathrow-as-screening-begins.html

10th October, 2014 Ebola: European food safety experts to assess risk of bushmeat to EU countries http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/10/ebola-bushmeat-risk-europe-food-safety-expert-assessment


3rd October, 2014: How Saving West African Forests might have prevented the Ebola epidemic - 

Deforestation has destroyed much of the region’s habitat for fruit bats – and put these Ebola carriers into greater contact with people
Bill Gates: ‘Ebola is shutting down the healthcare system’ in African countries
‘The US Ebola scare should be a wake-up call to Africa’s Ebola nightmare’
Ebola: answering the 10 basic questions you were afraid to ask


The Economic Effects Of Ebola On West Africa; It's Because Of The Way The Economies Are Structured:


Here’s the Wall Street Journal versionon FORBES.com:

Ebola’s economic impact has become so severe that the IMF is now warning that stricken countries could need emergency assistance. Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have all been burning holes in their finances trying to curb the outbreak, and a dramatic downturn in trade—specifically timber and rubber—will compound those troubles.




Tom Roche (trading as) Just Forests Ltd.
Ringfort Workshop, Rathcobican, Rhode, Offaly, Ireland
Phone: +353 (0)86 8049389  |  E-mail: info@tomroche.ie
Company Registration Number: 612423 This website is an education awareness initiative of Just Forests Ltd Copyright © 2018 Tom Roche (trading as) Just Forests Ltd.