Mountain Gorilla Followup
Arielle Cratsenberg (11 AM lecture) found some more information regarding the sad plight of the Mountain Gorillas from last week. Take it away Arielle:
A couple days ago it was proven that respiratory diseases from humans to mountain gorillas are linked. The researchers are from the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, the Wildlife Health Center at the University of California, the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, and the Rwanda Development Board. Their study has reported 2009 deaths of two mountain gorillas, which were infected with a human virus. There are less than 800 living mountain gorillas left, so every animal is needed to revive their species. Many people are making efforts in protecting the species (Gorilla beringei beringel) but while making these efforts they are still around thousands of people. Gorilla tourism, protection of them in national parks in Rwanda, and veterinarians all cause the interaction between the gorillas and humans.
Traumatic injury and infectious disease are the most common reasons of death among these gorillas. The respiratory disease associated with them range from colds to severe Pneumonia. One of the groups studied was the Hirwa group in Rwanda. The infected gorillas showed signs of coughing, eye and nose discharge, and fatigue. Within the group of 12 studied, all but one was sick and two died. A tissue analyses showed a RNA virus called human metapneumovirus(HMPV) in both of the dead animals.
BONUS opportunity: Identify in the comment thread other diseases of animals, which have humans as the potential reservoir (e.g. the opposite of a zoonosis.)