The ebola virus has crossed species and begun infecting members of the canine family. Suspected origionally as a mild variant of canine distemper in a population of wild dogs located near the eastern border of Burkina Faso the ebola virus has now been confirmed as being communicated to both wild dog populations as well as several towns domestic dog populations. As is common with diseases that cross species, the virus affects canids differently, primarily causing spastic, involuntary muscle movement, excessive salivary production and an inability to close the affected animals eyes. The disease is nonlethal in canids but as easily transmissable through contact with bodily fluids and has raised fears that the virus may spread further due to the roaming, communal nature of dogs themselves. Studies are currently underway to determine if the disease is migrating into similar mammalian populations.
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