Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Ebola Outbreak: 'A Dress Rehearsal For The Next Big One'

The usual suspect: Bats harbor dozens of deadly viruses, such as rabies and influenza. Several studies suggest that bats may also carry Ebola.
The usual suspect: Bats harbor dozens of deadly viruses, such as rabies and influenza. Several studies suggest that bats may also carry Ebola.

Until this year, the world had recorded 1,640 deaths from Ebola since the virus was discovered in 1976.

Then Ebola appeared in West Africa.

So far this year, 887 people have died of Ebola in West Africa, the World Health Organization Monday.

To put that into perspective, more than a third of all people known to have died from the virus have died in the current outbreak.

And the outbreak is still spreading at a frightening rate. Last week, there were more than 200 new cases reported across four countries.

To find out more about the origins of Ebola — and what may lie ahead — we talked to author . He wrote the book Spillover, which traces the evolution of Ebola, HIV and other diseases that move from animals to people.

Here's an excerpt from our conversation, which has been edited for clarity.

For the rest of the story: http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/08/05/338059797/the-ebola-outbreak-a-dress-rehearsal-for-the-next-big-one?ft=1&f=1007

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