Read the text below, then decide whether the statements (11-17) are true (T),false (F) or not given (NG) in the text. Put a
in the correct box. The firstone (0) has been done for you.
Why Ebola is Killing Gorillas
There's nothing like an outbreak of Ebola virus to guaranteescreaming headlines. That's largely due to the mid-1990sbestseller The Hot Zone, which described the disease'shorrifying course in gruesome detail, leaving many readers tobelieve that Ebola posed a looming threat to humanexistence. The truth is, however, that since the first recordedhuman cases in the 1970s, only a few hundred people havedied from it. Of all the diseases you need to be afraid of,Ebola is near the bottom of the list.Unless, that is, you're a gorilla. Over the past decade or so, tens of thousands of thegreat apes have died of Ebola in central Africa, along with similar numbers ofchimpanzees. That the disease was responsible was established in a paper published inDecember in Science. Now a report in the American Naturalist explains just why Ebola isspreading among the animals so furiously--and shows how it could be stopped, accordingto lead author Peter Walsh of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Leipzig,Germany. The epidemiological tactics used to treat outbreaks of human scourges like E.coli hold the answer.Ebola is transmitted by contact with body fluids, and it's rapidly fatal. When people get it,they become so sick so fast--their organs literally liquefy--that others try to stay awayfrom them. What's more, the mere fact of their quick immobility means they can't carrythe virus very far. Ebola usually burns through an isolated village or community and thenhas nowhere else to go."People always assumed it was the same for gorillas," says Walsh. This belief madeparticular sense since gorillas live in relatively compact packs that don't interact muchwith other packs. Ebola, however, is oddly aggressive in great apes, ignoring packboundaries and advancing across great-ape habitats at a rate of about 29 miles a year.Heading into the field to study the outbreaks, as well as animal behavior that could becontributing to them, Walsh and his team soon cracked the mystery.It turns out that animal epidemiologists had based all their Ebola assumptions onmountain gorillas--the kind studied by Dian Fossey--and not on Western gorillas, whichwere actually dying. The mountain variety subsists mostly on leaves, which are availableall over the forest. Western gorillas, by contrast, live mostly on fruit, a scarcer resourcethat draws different groups of gorillas and chimpanzees to the same trees at differenttimes of day. "They defecate and urinate in and around the trees," says Walsh, leavinginfected body fluids to sicken the next group. Gorillas also examine the bodies of deadapes they come upon, perhaps because they're smart enough to want to know ifwhatever claimed that life is a threat to them. This provides another means of directtransmission.Now that the mechanics of the epidemic are known, putting the brakes on it could becomparatively easy. Ebola vaccines exist, but public-service announcements won'texactly bring gorillas to a vaccination center where the entire population can beinoculated. Instead, epidemiologists can use selective-vaccination techniques, whichwork with human communities when universal vaccination isn't practical. Just inoculate afew gorilla groups along the infection chain, and when the virus reaches them, it isstopped cold.