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DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Ebola outbreaks tend to occur two years after trees have been cut down or forests cleared in West and Central Africa, researchers said on Monday, suggesting that deforestation data could be used to predict outbreaks of the deadly disease.

A study published in online journal Scientific Reports was the first to find a time correlation between deforestation and the onset of Ebola, caused by a virus which humans catch from infected wild animals that can then be transmitted between humans through direct contact.

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