As fears spread like wildfire about the world's worst Ebola outbreak, which has tragically killed over 660 people in six months so far, the origin has come to light -- and it traces back to bushmeat.
According to the UN, the likely source of the outbreak was a hunter who ate or sold a fruit bat, a species that can be infected without showing any outward signs, in Western Africa. The disease can be spread through the transmission of bodily fluids like blood between animals and humans -- what's known as a zoonotic disease.
While fruit bats are a known species for Ebola transmission, other bushmeat species like rodents and primates could have carried it as well. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released a public statement warning to rural West African communities of the risks of contracting the virus from eating these species. The residents of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, all of which are dealing with the brunt of the outbreak, are particularly at risk.