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  • Aristide Ongone Obame
    FAO Representative
    Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
    [email protected]

    Querido Antonio Luis Ferreira
    FAO Representative
    Kampala, Uganda
    [email protected]

    Juan Lubroth
    Chief Veterinary Officer
    Animal Health Service
    Rome, Italy
    [email protected]

    Dominique Burgeon
    Emergency and Rehabilitation Division and Strategic Programme Leader – Resilience
    Rome, Italy
    [email protected]

Ebola virus Key messages & QAs

The Chief Veterinary Officer of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Dr Juan Lubroth, provides the following key messages – questions and answers to Chief Veterinary Officers, FAO Representatives and others involved in the animal health sector relative to the current Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak based on the latest scientific literature.


Key messages


  1. The mechanism of spread of EVD in the current outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the EVD event in Uganda is human-to-human transfer of the virus. To date, there is no epidemiological link between human cases in this outbreak and exposure in this outbreak to animals or animal products.
  2. Bats are believed to be the principal animal reservoirs of Ebola viruses. With the exception of bats, healthy, wild animals hunted, slaughtered, handled and consumed as wild meat (also called “bush meat”) present negligible to no risk to humans if good hygiene, proper protection and appropriate cooking practices are followed.
  3. Meat from healthy livestock that is safely prepared and cooked remains safe to eat.
  4. People should not handle, slaughter, dress, sell, prepare or consume meat that originates from wild animals or livestock that are sick or that have died from unknown causes. Raw wild meat or uncooked dishes based on the blood of wild animals should not be consumed. These practices place people at high risk of contracting any number of infections.
  5. Any unusual morbidity or mortality of animals should be reported to the animal health authorities.
  6. FAO is fully engaged in the multisectoral coordination at the national, regional and international levels through the activation of an internal FAO Ebola Incident Coordination Group.
  7. The World Health Organization (WHO) is the authority and primary source of information regarding the human health aspects of this outbreak.