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Bushmeat can be a viral feast

Monkeys and apes are considered edible game in many parts of Africa. As people from these regions have emigrated to other parts of the world, some have retained their love of this and other types of bushmeat. A new study now finds that meat from nonhuman primates — from chimps to monkeys — can host potentially dangerous viruses. Tested samples were confiscated at U.S. airports.

“These products ranged from raw and bloody to well smoked,” Smith says, “and we found virus even in the well-smoked pieces.” That’s a big concern, she and her coauthors maintain, since nearly 75 percent of emerging infectious diseases in humans comes from animals, mostly wildlife.

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