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Re-emergence of Ebola focuses need for global surveillance strategies
Date:4/17/2014

s that focusing surveillance on viruses in bats, rodents and non-human primates (a "SMART surveillance approach), and understanding what's disrupting these species' ecology is the best strategy to predict and prevent local outbreaks and pandemic disease," Daszak continued.

The study, published by EcoHealth Alliance's Dr. Kevin Olival and Dr. David Hayman from Massey University, reviewed all of the current literature on filoviruses the class of viruses that include both Ebola and Marburg virus and took a critical look at the ecological and virological methods needed to understand these viruses to protect human health. As part of the study, EcoHealth Alliance's modeling team mapped the geographic distribution of all known bat hosts for these viruses, and found that Guinea and Liberia lie within the expected range of Zaire Ebola the strain responsible for the current outbreak. The team highlighted the need for more unified and improved global surveillance strategies to monitor outbreak events around the globe in wildlife. "We are in the beginning stages of developing early warning systems to identify disease "spillover" events from wildlife to humans before they occur, but much work remains to be done. It's an exciting time where ecology, disease surveillance, mathematical modeling, and policy are all critically converging towards the goal of pandemic prevention," said Dr. Kevin Olival, Senior Research Scientist at EcoHealth Alliance. "Our work on bat ecology is specifically important since we know that they are reservoirs for a number of viruses, including Ebola and Marburg. Bat species are critical to the health of ecosystems and disease studies must be conducted with conservation as a integral component," he continued.

EcoHealth Alliance continues to work around the globe to study and uncover the ecological drivers of disease emergence. It is estimated that 15 million people die from infectious disease each year with more than half
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Contact: Anthony M. Ramos
ramos@ecohealthalliance.org
212-380-4469
EcoHealth Alliance
Source:Eurekalert

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