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Fearing Ebola, Owners Abandon Pets In The Ivory Coast

As the Ebola epidemic continues to sweep across West Africa, fear is so great that people have begun to abandon their pet big cats and monkeys out of panic, leading local zoos to take in these animals to prevent potential spread of the deadly virus.

The AFP visited one Ivory Coast zoo where vets have created a quarantine zone, with cages of animals in isolation to prevent exposure to the virus. Though none of the animals appears infected with Ebola, the zoo is keeping them isolated out of precaution because they don't know all the animals' history.

Researchers have suggested that fruit bats could be to blame for the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, passing on the disease to forest antelopes and primates, whose meat is eaten in many African countries. The WHO has warned that people "should reduce contact with high-risk infected animals (i.e. fruit bats, monkeys or apes) in the affected areas."

There have not been any confirmed cases of Ebola in the Ivory Coast, but the disease has killed almost 1,800 people in neighbouring Liberia and Guinea alone and a total 2,600 in the four countries where the disease has hit, including Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

Read the AFP's profile of the zoo in Abidjan here.

An unaffected monkey — Photo: Mohammed Talatene/APA Images/ZUMA

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Future

Injecting Feminism Into Science Is A Good Thing — For Science

Feminists have generated a set of tools to make science less biased and more robust. Why don’t more scientists use it?

As objective as any man

Anto Magzan/ZUMA
Rachel E. Gross

-Essay-

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, a mystery played out across news headlines: Men, it seemed, were dying of infection at twice the rate of women. To explain this alarming disparity, researchers looked to innate biological differences between the sexes — for instance, protective levels of sex hormones, or distinct male-female immune responses. Some even went so far as to test the possibility of treating infected men with estrogen injections.

This focus on biological sex differences turned out to be woefully inadequate, as a group of Harvard-affiliated researchers pointed out earlier this year. By analyzing more than a year of sex-disaggregated COVID-19 data, they showed that the gender gap was more fully explained by social factors like mask-wearing and distancing behaviors (less common among men) and testing rates (higher among pregnant women and health workers, who were largely female).

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