In contrast, in areas of very low population density, increasing vegetation was associated with a decrease in risk of animal-to-human transmission. The findings were published in the open-access journal PeerJ, on January 20, 2015, in an article titled, “The landscape configuration of zoonotic transmission of Ebola virus disease in West and Central Africa: interaction between population density and vegetation cover.”
“These findings cannot be viewed as causal due to the observational nature of the data,” says Dr. Walsh, “but they do suggest that the specific landscape configuration of interaction between human populations and forested land may facilitate transmission of the Ebola virus from animals to humans.” He adds, “The reservoir species of the Ebola virus is believed to be fruit bats, with a secondary source being non-human primates. As human populations increase and move into forested areas that are home to these animals, the risk of humans contracting EVD appears to increase, judging from our analysis of EVD outbreaks in Central and West Africa.”
The article is available online at: https://peerj.com/articles/735/ .
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