AR-News: (Cameroon) New Monkey Virus Jumps to Humans
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Tue Apr 6 12:27:26 EDT 2004
NEW MONKEY VIRUS JUMPS TO HUMANS
Veterinary Sciences Tomorrow, April 6, 2004
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.
NewScientist.com news service; Journal reference: The Lancet (vol 363, p
932) New Scientist
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