FAO is working with the World Health Organization (WHO) to reach those communities who consume bushmeat, or wild game, in the area of the outbreak.
"We are not suggesting that people stop hunting altogether, which isn't realistic," FAO Chief Veterinary Officer Juan Lubroth said in a statement. "But communities need clear advice on the need not to touch dead animals or to sell or eat the meat of any animal that they find already dead. They should also avoid hunting animals that are sick or behaving strangely, as this is another red flag."
Fruit bats are usually eaten in those areas dried or in soups to supplement diets. They are called a "reservoir species" for the virus, though it is killed when meat is cooked at a high temperature. But anyone who handles the animal before it's cooked is at risk. Other outbreaks in the past have been tied to bushmeat hunting of fruit bat and primates.
Ebola is lethal in up to 90 percent of cases, and there is currently no vaccine. According to FAO, West Africa's first human cases of the virus occurred in December 2013.