Mountain Gorillas Infected by Human Virus for the First Time
Researchers from the United States and Africa have discovered that diseases can pass from humans to gorillas, and can even cause death to these wild mountain gorillas.
Gustavo Palacios, study leader and virologist at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University in New York, along with Mike Cranfield, executive director of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project and a UC Davis wildlife veterinarian, Linda Lowenstein, a veterinary pathologist with the UC Davis Mountain Gorilla One Health Program, and a team of researchers from the Rwanda Development Board have found that wild mountain gorillas are capable of catching infectious diseases from humans.
The fact that gorillas have had close contact to humans - such as gorillas living near densely populated areas in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda - does not help these endangered species. Also, tourists who visit these gorillas in their shelters expose them to even more potential diseases.