Africa: Chimpanzees die of an unknown disease in the African country of Sierra Leone. Bacterial disease is reported to be the leading cause of death in chimpanzees. The study, published in the journal Nature, found that the disease was similar to the bacterium Sarcina.
Chimpanzees show disease in certain climates in Tacoma. Experts call the disease ENGS (episodic neurological and gastroenteric syndrome). Symptoms include neurological problems, diarrhea, and vomiting. Since 2005, 56 chimpanzees have died from the disease at the Tacoma Wildlife Sanctuary in Sierra Leone alone. Treatment was given but to no avail.
Chimpanzees are genetically the closest species to humans. Therefore, there is concern that the disease may spread to humans. Scientists warn that weather and conditions can affect the spread of the disease and caution is needed.