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New fears that 'bush meat' could spread Ebola

THREAT: New fears that 'bush meat' could spread Ebola

THERE ARE new fears that the deadly Ebola virus can be could be spread into the UK through meat.

Experts said ‘bush meat’ which has been smuggled into Britain could be carrying the virus, which has already killed at least 672 people in West Africa.

While the meat is often disguised as beef, it is often found to be the meat of wild animals such as rat or antelope.

Professor Robert Dingwall, an expert in infectious diseases at Nottingham Trent University, told The Sun: "Lots of wild animals carry the virus, and bush meat is often badly prepared.

"Similar meat that could have caused this outbreak may well end up in a market stall in London."

Of the 7,500 tonnes of illegal meat that enters the country every year, 55 per cent is said to be 'bush meat', which is then distributed through wholesalers or at local markets.


EBOLA DEATH: Patrick Sawyer, 40, an American citizen, died on July 25 after becoming noticeably ill on a flight from Liberia, West Africa - where the worst ever outbreak of Ebola is gathering pace - to the city of Lagos in Nigeria

Humans can contract Ebola from eating or handling infected meat from chimpanzees, fruit bats, forest antelopes and porcupines.

The latest warning comes as British airports and airlines remain on high alert to prevent travellers bringing the deadly virus back to the UK.

Last week, businessman Patrick Sawyer was found to have travelled through a major Nigerian airport after being infected.

Sawyer, 40, died of the disease. His case sparked worldwide alarm as he was able to board an international flight while carrying the incurable disease – potentially infecting other passengers.

Several West African airlines have now stopped flying to Liberia and Sierra Leone over concerns about the outbreak.

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