AR-News: (Cameroon) New Monkey Virus Jumps to Humans

Mary Finelli hello_itz_me at
Tue Apr 6 12:27:26 EDT 2004

Veterinary Sciences Tomorrow, April 6, 2004

complete article:

The discovery of a new class of monkey virus jumping into humans has 
reinforced claims that HIV came from bushmeat hunting. It also suggests that 
viruses jump species much more often than thought - raising the risk that 
new viral diseases will eventually develop in humans.

She says that reducing hunting would have two benefits. "It would help 
conserve endangered species and lower the potential for transmission of 
viruses to people."

Wolfe says that many hunters catch bushmeat through necessity, not choice, 
and that it would be cost effective for donors to provide them with 
alternative sources of food. "If you think of the lives lost and the 
billions of dollars spent on HIV/AIDS, the cost of replacing bushmeat to 
prevent the next pandemic seems a reasonable investment," he notes. He also 
stresses that the phenomenon probably occurs throughout Central Africa and 
parts of Asia where primates are hunted.

Wolfe and Peeters say that the findings reinforce what is already largely 
beyond dispute-that HIV arose from its monkey equivalent, SIV, after it 
jumped into humans, probably in bushmeat hunters.

Andy Coghlan news service; Journal reference: The Lancet (vol 363, p 
932) New Scientist

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