To Thwart Ebola, Guinea Bans Bat-Eating

Local delicacy blamed for Guinea outbreak
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2014 1:11 AM CDT
To Combat Ebola, Bat-Eating Banned
No longer on the menu in Guinea.   (Shutterstock)

Bats are now off the menu in Guinea, where an outbreak of Ebola is now believed to have killed at least 62 people. Bats are a delicacy in the West African nation, where they tend to be made into a peppery soup served in village stores that sell alcohol, the BBC reports, but certain bat species are believed to be the natural reservoir for the Ebola virus and experts believe they are the "main agent" behind the Guinea outbreak. They have been banned for sale and consumption as authorities struggle to contain the outbreak.

Doctors Without Borders has been sending teams into the countryside to search for more cases. "To confine the epidemic, it is critical to trace the entire transmission chain," a tropical medicine adviser for the aid group tells the AP. "All individuals who have had contact with patients who may be contaminated are monitored and isolated at the first sign of infection." Authorities in Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast are monitoring their borders carefully, while at least eight suspected cases have surfaced in neighboring Liberia. (More bats stories.)

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