I'm not sure I buy the conclusion that deforestation absolutely leads to Ebola, since it sounds like they don't really know what causes Ebola in the first place. It certainly does seem like there's some correlation there though.
Deforestation does not lead to ebola, but some of the activities around it does. Burning ever living thin within an area would be an extreme form of deforestation, but would sterilize any ebola contained within that area.
The last I heard, the reservoir for the virus is bats. Apes contract the disease from the bats. Humans catch it from apes (see below). Deforestation would eliminate the first two steps in the chain.
The same guys pushing into the forest to cut it down are also living off the land and eating the apes that live there. So one solution is to stop killing an eating gorillas and chimpanzees. A greener solution, obviously, is to just stay the hell out of the forest.
Here's a better write up on it.
Basically, it isn't just the act of deforestation, but the increased exposure to what previously lay hidden within the forest that increases the number of infections. So even intense forest exploration would have chances of similar effect. Any time someone enters a perviously hidden space, they should expect to encounter biohazards.
When the exposure increases even to a small degree in a particularly virulent strain of disease, it can run rampant through a human population. So a few extra people bringing back illness from the forest can result in a massive outbreak. Ebola in both animals and humans is passed on only through direct contact by infected body fluid (blood, mucous, etc.). That means there's a good chance to control the spread, but the disease is particularly deadly, and so does pose a real threat should it escape Africa.
And a more eco-socialist solution would be not to destabilize local economies under neoliberal rubrics in a fashion that drives significant portions of the populace to turn to bushmeat for supplemental income and subsistence.
No, I'm not agreeing. I just thought we were playing buzzword bingo. My bad.
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