BUSHMEAT, which can range from bat to monkey to lion, including a number of endangered species, is beloved by many, despite the fact that it is illegal in the U.S!!!
In BRONX, NY, the high price attached to bushmeat (or viande de brousse, as it is known in the French-speaking world) indicates a luxury indulgence in the same way illegally imported caviar might for Russian émigrés in Brooklyn.
Bushmeat may be a luxury, but it may also pose a deadly threat. A memo obtained by Newsweek that circulated among customs officers and agriculture specialists in 2007 noted that bushmeat is “a potential vector of diseases such as Monkeybox, Ebola Virus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and other communicable diseases.”
Seven years later, the worst Ebola epidemic in history is ravaging West Africa.
As the world watches the devastation the disease is bringing to Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, many worry about what could happen if the virus makes it out of the region. Two Americans stationed in Liberia, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, were infected with the disease in mid-July. Soon after, the U.S. sent specially designed medical evacuation planes to fly them back to Atlanta for treatment at Emory Hospital, near the headquarters of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This week, NEWSWEEK Journalists GERALD FLYNN and SUSAN SCUTTI explored BRONX and BROOKLYN, NY, in search of BUSHMEAT to report on A BACK DOOR For EBOLA: SMUGGLED BUSHMEAT COULD Be EBOLA'S BACK DOOR To AMERICA